Saturday, September 28, 2013

Taking Back the Waters of the Nechako

Cheslatta Submits Historic Application for License to Take Back Water

by Cheslatta Carrier Nation

SOUTHBANK, B.C. – The Cheslatta Carrier Nation submitted the water license application today for the $280 million Nechako River Legacy Project that supports construction of a water release facility at Kenney Dam.
“Submitting this application formally starts the process of taking back the water that was stolen from us 62 years ago when the government issued a private company license to all of the water in Cheslatta Traditional Territory which made billions of dollars in profit” said Cheslatta Chief Richard Peters.
“It feels a bit ironic that we are paying the Province over $10,525 to apply for part of a water license that Rio Tinto Alcan pays $5.00 a year for” Peters added.
The Kenney Dam was constructed on the Nechako River in 1952 to service the Alcan aluminum smelter in Kitimat. The original design and construction of the Dam did not include a spillway, which forced the Cheslatta people to flee their villages when the massive releases of water from the Skins Lake Spillway flooded the Cheslatta River Valley destroying cemeteries and depositing millions of tons of silt, gravel and debris into Cheslatta Lake. Human skeletal remains and demolished casket fragments continue to be discovered today along the Cheslatta Lake shoreline.

The Nechako River Legacy Project would construct a water release facility at Kenney Dam would stop of the flooding of Cheslatta graves and transport the reservoir water directly into the old Nechako River and re-water 5 miles of river in the Nechako canyon, which has been dry since 1952. Although power generation is not the primary objective, Cheslatta have been in discussions with BC Hydro to secure a long-term Electricity Purchase Agreement to ensure the economic viability of the project. Cheslatta also confirm that discussions with Rio Tinto Alcan remain positive.

Cheslatta proposes to reinvest a portion of the revenue generated from power sales to create a legacy fund to stimulate the environmental, social and economic rehabilitation of the upper Nechako watershed and begin a revitalization process for the Cheslatta land and people. 
 “After making billions of dollars in profit from flooding the Nechako, the government and industry have never committed to a reinvestment to fix the environmental disaster they created” said Chief Peters.
“As the project moves forward, we are fully prepared to undergo all required environmental review processes to try and right a wrong that has been allowed to continue for over 60 long and tragic years.”
The Cheslatta Carrier Nation is a First Nations community whose 130 members currently reside on scattered reserves located approximately 35 km south of Burns Lake, B.C. Much of Cheslatta’s prime traditional territory was flooded by the Kenney Dam in 1952 and resulted in the forced relocation of the Cheslatta people. For the past 60 years the Cheslatta people have sought to rebuild their lives and land from total social, economic and environmental devastation.

More information about the Cheslatta Carrier Nation and the Nechako River Legacy Project is available at

- 30 -

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 30, 2013


Chief Richard Peters or Chief Richard Peters or Mike Robertson
Cheslatta Carrier Nation
250.694.3334 cell 250 692-9214

Mike Robertson
Senior Policy Advisor
Cheslatta Carrier Nation
Box 909
Burns Lake, BC V0J 1E0

Quick Thaw: Greenland "Greening" Six Times Faster Than Predictions

UN: Greenland ice melting six times faster than previous decades


Environmental expert Subhankar Banerjee breaks down the latest UN climate change report.

In a new report just released on Friday, UN-backed climate change scientists have declared with 95 percent certainty that climate change is indeed man-made. The environmental panel on climate change has also called for a limit on greenhouse gas emissions, but say even with those limits, warming will likely continue for centuries. Meanwhile, climate skeptics have rolled out their own campaign to challenge these dire findings. Now joining us to discuss this report is Shubhankar Banerjee. He's an environmental humanities scholar and activist. He founded and is editor of the upcoming anthology Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point, which will be out in October.

Subhankar Banerjee is an environmental humanities scholar and activist. Over the past thirteen years he has worked tirelessly for the conservation of ecoculturally significant areas of the Arctic, and to raise awareness about indigenous human rights and climate change. He has also been focusing on climate change impacts in the desert southwest. He founded, and is editor of the anthology Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point which will be published in paperback on October 8, 2013 (Seven Stories Press). He was recently Director’s Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Fordham University in New York, received Distinguished Alumnus Award from the New Mexico State University, and Cultural Freedom Award from Lannan Foundation.

TPP Behind Closed Doors: World Leaders Meet with Big Business to Chart Internet Future

60,000 People Did This in One Day


Wow! It's incredible. Within just over one day over 60,000 people called on heads of state to say no to Internet censorship. Will you join them?

We've never seen a response like this. Thousands are signing up every hour. We even hit the front of Reddit, which nearly crashed our server. And momentum continues to grow - it's going viral. Will you be a part of it, Lex? This is our last chance to speak out because the meeting to impose website blocking and Internet shutdowns takes place in a matter of days. We need you to do your part - speak out now.

Stephen Harper is meeting in secret with Industry lobbyists and world leaders to finalize an extreme Internet censorship agreement called the TPP. The TPP will make the internet more expensive, censored and policed. In fact, it could even try to kick you off the Internet. We can stop them if you add your voice right now to our letter that will be sent to each head of state.

This could be it.

For the first time, actual Presidents and Prime Ministers of 12 powerful countries -- including Canada's Stephen Harper -- will meet behind closed doors to seal an extreme Internet censorship plan called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) [1]

These secretive talks could decide the future of Canada's digital economy for years to come, but Canadian MPs, citizens, and public interest groups are locked out of the negotiations entirely. What's worse is that despite blocking Canadian parliamentarians from seeing the agreement, U.S. Congressmen are allowed to see exactly what's on the table. [2]

We know from leaked drafts [3] that the TPP will make the Internet more expensive, censored, and policed. Experts say, the TPP could actually kick you off the Internet by implementing a "Three Strikes You're Out" rule when dealing with possible copyright infringement [4].

Will Stephen Harper feel the pressure from industry lobbyists - or will he feel the pressure from you? Send decision-makers a powerful message before it's too late.

We're asking Canada's negotiators to please:
* Protect the right of everyone to access the Internet in their daily lives.
* Do not force ISPs to act as "Internet Police" monitoring our Internet use, censoring content, and removing whole websites. [5]
* Preserve the democratic rights of sovereign countries to draft their own copyright laws.

U.S. lobbyists don't have the best interests of Canadians at heart. If we don't speak up now these secretive, unfair and unbalanced negotiations will lead to a terrible deal for Canada.

This could be our last chance to speak out against the censorship rules contained in the TPP; negotiations have been ongoing for the last five years, but world leaders have stated they plan to "conclude the TPP discussions" in just a few days [6].

Thousands of people and over 30 major organizations from across the Trans-Pacific region are working together to keep the Internet open. Our public outcry has stopped TPP officials from finalizing the agreement so far but in a few days the door could close forever.

We know that when citizens speak out, decision-makers take notice. We cannot allow U.S. lobbyists to define Canada's digital future. Click here to send a simple message to Canada's negotiators: Please, say no to Internet censorship.

Together, we won't let them take away our digital rights.

For our future,

Steve and Jason on behalf of your vigilant OpenMedia team

PS: The Internet won't stay open on its own; speak out now to call on TPP negotiators to preserve our digital future.

Your support is critical in the fight to defend the possibilities of the open Internet.


[1] "Obama to Attend APEC, ASEAN Summits on October Asia Trip" Source: [ ]

[2] "Trans-Pacific Partnership: Canadian MP's Have No Access To Drafts US Pols Can See, NDP Say's" Source: the Huffington Post [ ]

[3] Leaked draft of TPP Intellectual Property Chapter. Source: Knowledge Ecology International [ ]

[4] What's actually in the TPP? Source: Public Knowledge [ ]

[5] "TPP Creates Legal Incentives for ISPs to Police the Internet. What is at risk? Your rights." Electronic Frontier Foundation [ ]

[6] US Envoy: TPPA talks to conclude next month. Source: FMT Malaysia [ ]

The New Syrians: Preserving the Ancient While Preparing for a Post-Conflict Future

Passing the Torch to a New Generation of Syrians

by Franklin Lamb - CounterPunch


Few, one imagines, in the Syrian Arab Republic these days question the urgency and enormity of the task of reconstruction of their ancient country from war inflicted destruction caused by a carnage already more than half as long as World War I and approaching half as long as World War II.

For this ten millennium civilization and its thousands of priceless treasures, many partially destroyed, emergency efforts are needed today to preserve and protect the structures from thieves and war damage. Not many here would disagree with this priority of the Syrian government.

Historic sites damages or in danger include several among those listed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List registry including the Ancient City of Aleppo (1986), Ancient City of Bosra (1980),Ancient City of Damascus(1979),Ancient Villages of Northern Syria (2011),Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din (2006) and the Site of Palmyra (1980). Centuries-old markets and archaeological treasures have already been gutted by flames and gunfire in places like Aleppo and Homs.

Examining and discussing in Syria and Lebanon, some of the assessments of damage now being painstakingly documented, as well as pursuing some summaries of the data and analysis from on-the-scene government investigators, it is clear that plans for reconstruction at the earliest possible opportunity are being readied. Taking the lead, and poised to help, is the Syrian population as well as officials exhibiting pent up kinesis waiting to be released at the first sign of a credible cease fire so as to begin to rebuild their country.

Reconstruction of Syria will be aided by three regime reshuffles since the beginning of the March 2011 uprising, which has infused much ‘new blood’ into the Syrian government. This process includes more than 20 changes at the ministerial level in recent months, in some cases replacing well entrenched and influential, if slightly fossilized, political operatives with overboard government roles from decades past. The bold reformist initiative is designed to reshuffle the corridors of power and have one claimed goal: To push and achieve reform.

More than a few officials have advised this observer of their deep convictions and their commitments for reforms which they note are spreading inside as well as outside government. “God knows we made serious mistakes and misjudgments and we will be judged by God for our failures. But in the meantime we need to reform for our people, families and for our own self-respect. And we are constructing massive reforms here in Syria which are not yet apparent but that will surprise many and please more. We are Syrians! We know what is right and that changes and reforms are overdue and what our duty is!”

Last month’s most recent infusion of 7 Minsters, known for their competence not political pedigree, include several ‘independents’ intended, according to one adviser to Syria’s President Assad, to bring much needed new blood and energy to the leadership. Their mandate is to face the current challenges straight on while eschewing entangling perceived political obligations from the past. These ‘best and the brightest’ are being empowered here to help rebuild Syria, it was explained to this observer by two university professors as being a government priority but without the American best and brightest noblesse oblige arrogance and fascist tendencies of the Bundy brothers and McNamara’s ‘whiz kids’ from the 1960’s.

The most recent changes have included bringing in the following gentlemen (why no women!) who are known for their competence rather than simply as stalwarts of the ruling Baath party.

- Qadri Jamil: Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs
- Malek Ali: Minister of Higher Education
- Khodr Orfali: Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade
- Kamal Eddin Tu’ma: Minister of Industry
- Samir Izzat Qadi Amin: Minister of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection
- Bishr Riyad Yazigi: Minister of Tourism
- Hassib Elias Shammas: Minister of State, replacing Najm Eddin Khreit.

One of the “new breed” of Syrian public servants is Bishr Riyad Yazigi, a non-Baathist, independent Member of Parliament, who appears beholden only to his vision of restoring Syria and its vital tourism industry, as part of rebuilding his country, and for which he was appointed Minister on 8/22/12. .

Minister Yazigi, who I first met up on Mount Quisoun a several weeks ago is distinctively Kennedyesque in his good looks, charm, vigor, progressive ideas and charisma.

A businessman, born in Aleppo in 1972, is currently the youngest member of the Assad Cabinet, land like others, is not a Baath Party member. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Informatics Engineering from Aleppo University (1995) and is an independent member of the People’s Assembly (Syrian Parliament) for Aleppo city. He is married and has three children.

Yazigi is reputed to spend these days often working around the clock to rebuild Syria’s tourist industry. “Not just to help our economy, even though tourism brought in more than $8 billion annually before the crisis two and one half years ago,” one official who admires Yazigi explained, “But the Tourism Ministry is working to reconnect to the World the way we Syrians used to reach out. Syria’s treasures, from the cradle of civilization that we are, fundamentally belong to all of humanity and please accept our promise that we will do our best to repair all damage to the antiquities and will welcome every assistance as we shall welcome every visitor again before long, enshallah (God willing).”

Earlier this month, Minister Yaziqui stressed to a gathering of “Loyalty to Syria” members anxious to start rebuilding their country, the importance of NGO’s in revealing the reality of events in Syria to global public opinion and pledged to work with them to present the image of Syria as a tourist destination given its richness with historical and religious monuments. Meeting members of “Loyalty to Syria” Initiative, he pointed out that the Tourism Ministry is working to show the image of Syria as a tourist destination of unparallelled richness of historical and religious monuments and that all Syrian must redouble their efforts to achieve their goals of “boosting the social values and developing national capacity to serve the best interest of Syria.”

The Syrian reformers tasks are daunting. Yet so were those, admittedly on a smaller scale, that faced Lebanon following 33 days of near carpeting bombing by the Israeli government employing, as they have done for more than three decades, a vast array of American weapons gifted by American taxpayers with neither their knowledge, consent or opportunity to object.

The cost of rebuilding Syria is perhaps incalculable. The Syrian government announced this week that it has earmarked 50 billion Syrian pounds ($250 million) for reconstruction next year in the war-torn country. For 2013, the figure was 300 billion Syrian pounds. ($ 1.2 billion).

But these sums are a drop in the bucket.

According to Syrian real estate experts, including Ammar Yussef, if the war in Syria suddenly stopped and reconstruction began today, around $73 billion would be needed to put the country back on track. Yussef, insists that the bombings, fighting and sabotage of infrastructure during the conflict has as of August 30, 2013, partially or completely destroyed 1.5 million dwellings. If the rebuilding were to start today, led by the new ‘reform team’ it would include rebuilding more than 11,000 sites, some being full blocks, requiring 15,000 trucks, 10,000 cement mixers and more than six million skilled workers.

A U.S.-educated economist, Abdullah al-Dardari, now working with Beirut-based UN development agency, claims that more than two years of fighting have cost Syria at least $60 billion and caused the vital oil industry to crumble. A quarter of all homes have been destroyed or severely damaged, and much of the medical system is in ruins.

Al Dardari’s team estimates the overall damage to Syria’s economy, three years into the conflict, at $60-$80 billion. Syria’s economy has shrunk by about 35 percent, compared to the 6 percent annual growth Syria marked in the five years before the conflict began in March 2011. The economy has lost nearly 40 percent of its GDP, and foreign reserves have been extensively depleted. As noted above, unemployment has shot up from 500,000 before the crisis to at least 2.5 million this year. The fighting has destroyed or damaged 1.2 million homes nationwide, a quarter of all Syrian houses, al-Dardari claims. In addition, around 3,000 schools and 2,000 factories have been destroyed, and almost half of the medical system — including hospitals and health centers — is in ruins. Before the uprising, the oil sector was a pillar of Syria’s economy, with the country producing about 380,000 barrels a day and exports — mostly to Europe — bringing in more than $3 billion in 2010. But the vital industry has buckled as rebels captured many of the country’s oil fields, setting wells aflame and looters scooping up crude. Exports have ground practically to a standstill as production has dwindled.

Syria does have vital labor resource to perform high quality reconstruction and her workers are ready to begin today given that the current unemployment in Syria noted above, according to this observers’ interlocutors at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Industry. Syrian workers are perhaps the best and most reliable in the world. Well known for building and maintaining Lebanon and the Levant, even though currently paid one half to one third what less productive nationals receive.

Despite the enormous challenges, there appears some light on the horizon if those governments involving themselves in the Syria crisis and wringing their hands at the toll of human misery and destruction, will achieve a permanent ceasefire during the current thaw in serious communications.

The new generation of officials entrusted with Syria’s salvation and reconstruction appear to be in place and are anxious to be allowed into the war zones. The politician’s duty are to open their paths without further delays

Franklin Lamb volunteers with the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (SSSP) in Shatila Camp ( and is reachable c/o

Two Years of Anarchy Follow NATO Liberation: Paying the Price in Libya

Libya in Anarchy Two Years after NATO Humanitarian Liberation

by F. William Engdahl - Global Research 

In 2011 when Muhammar Qaddafi refused to leave quietly as ruler of Libya, the Obama Administration, hiding behind the skirts of the French, launched a ferocious bombing campaign and a “No Fly” zone over the country to aid the so-called fighters for democracy.

The US lied to Russia and China with help of the (US-friendly) Gulf Cooperation Council about the Security Council Resolution on Libya and used it to illegally justify the war. The doctrine, “responsibility to protect” was used instead, the same doctrine Obama wants to use in Syria. It’s useful too look at Libya two years after the NATO humanitarian intervention.

Chaos in oil industry

Libya’s economy is dependent on oil. Just after the war, Western media hailed the fact the oil installations were not damaged by the population bombing and oil production was near normal at 1.4 million barrels/day (bpd). Then in July the armed guards hired by the government in Tripoli suddenly revolted and seized control of the eastern oil field terminals they were supposed to protect. There is where the vast bulk of Libya’s oil is produced, near Benghazi. It goes by pipeline to tankers on the Mediterranean for export.

When the government lost control of the terminals production and export fell sharply. Then another armed tribal group seized control of two oilfields in the south blocking oil flow to terminals on the northwest coast. The tribal occupiers demanded more pay and went on strike to demand pay and an end to corruption. The end result is today, early September Libya pumped a mere 150,000 barrels of its capacity of 1.6 million bpd. Exports have fallen to 80,000 barrels per day. [1]

Armed Militias vs Muslim Brotherhood

Libya is an artificial state like much of the Middle East and Africa, carved out in the colonial era of World War I by Italy. It is ruled by tribal consensus among numerous tribes. Qaddafi was chosen in a long process of voting by tribal elders that can take up to 15 years I was told by one expert. When he was murdered and his family hunted, NATO forced rule by a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated National Transitional Council (NTC).

Now in August a new Assembly was elected dominated again by the Brotherhood as in Morsi Egypt or Tunisia. Sounds nice on paper. The reality is that, by all accounts lawless bands, armed for the first time during the war with modern weapons, including foreign Al Qaeda and other jihadists are carrying out daily bombings across the country for local control. Tripoli itself has numerous armed gangs controlling sections of the capitol. It is turning into an armed battle between local tribal millitias that are forming and the Brotherthood that controls the central government. Leaders in the provinces of Cyrenaica and Fezzan are considering breaking away from Tripoli and rebel militias mobilizing across the country. [2]

Bombings in Tripoli are daily as lawlessness spreads

Nuri Abu Sahmain, Muslim Brotherhood President of the newly elected Congress has summoned militias allied to the Brotherhood to the capital to try to prevent a coup, in a move the opposition sees very much like a coup by the Brotherhood. The main opposition party, a center-right National Forces Alliance, as a result just deserted Congress together with several smaller ethnic parties, leaving the Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction party heading a government with crumbling authority. “Congress has basically collapsed,” said one diplomat in Tripoli. [3] The Obama Administration has promoted a takeover across the Muslim world from Egypt to Tunisia to Syria by the secretive Muslim Brotherhood as part of its long-term strategy of controlling the Muslim Arc of Crisis from Afghanistan to Libya. As the Saudi-backed military coup against Brotherhood president Muhammed Morsi in Egypt in July showed, the Obama strategy has some problems.

Riots and lawlessness

With rising violence the Interior Minister Mohamed Khalifa al Sheikh resigned in August. Some 500 prisoners in Tripoli jail did a hunger strike to protest being held two years without charges. When the government ordered the Supreme Security Committee to restore order, they began shooting prisoners through the bars. In July 1200 prisoners escaped a jail after a riot in Benghazi. In short lawlessness and anarchy is spreading. [4]

Ethnic Berbers, whose militia led the assault on Tripoli in 2011, temporarily took over the parliament building in Tripoli. Because the US and NATO was adamant it wanted no “boots on the ground,” instead they freely gave arms to any and all rebels who would shoot at the Qaddafi government troops. Now they still have the guns and Libya was described to me by one French journalist who had recently been there as “the world’s largest open air arms bazaar,” where for cash anyone can buy any modern NATO weapon.

Foreigners have mostly fled Benghazi since the American ambassador was murdered in the US consulate by jihadi militiamen last September. And Libya’s military prosecutor Colonel Yussef Ali al-Asseifar, in charge of investigating assassinations of politicians, soldiers and journalists, was himself assassinated by a bomb in his car on 29 August. [5]

Prospects are grim as the lawlessness spreads. Sliman Qajam, a member of the parliamentary energy committee, told Bloomberg that “the government is running on its reserves. If the situation doesn’t improve, it won’t be able to pay salaries by the end of the year.”

The Obama Administration argues that the not-yet-proven use by the Assad government of chemical weapons in Syria justifies a bombing war by NATO and allies such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Jordan, based on the “humanitarian” doctrine deceptively known as “responsibility to protect,” which argues that certain violations of human rights or safety are so serious as to transcend international law, UN Charters or US constitutional requirements and allow on moral grounds any US President to bomb any country he or she chooses. Something is not quite right here…


[1] Krishnadev Calamur, Libya Faces Looming Crisis As Oil Output Slows To Trickle, NPR, September 12, 2013, accessed in

[2] Patrick Cockburn, We all thought Libya had moved on — it has, but into lawlessness and ruin, 3 September 2013, accessed in–it-has-but-into-lawlessness-and-ruin-8797041.html

[3] Chris Stephen, Libyans fear standoff between Muslim Brotherhood and opposition forces, The Guardian, 20 August, 2013, accessed in

[4] Patrick Cockburn, op. cit.

[5] Ibid.

The Other Chemical Weapon Used Against Civilians: Glyphosate the Silent and Indiscriminate Killer

Glyphosate: Destructor of Human Health and Biodiversity  - Another Silent Killer

by Rosemary Mason MB ChB FRCA -  FarmWars

[With information from a global network of independent scientists, toxicologists, beekeepers, environmentalists, Governments, Industry and Regulators] 

Glyphosate Found in Streams Draining Agricultural Land: USGS scientist collects water sample from the Big Sunflower River near Harvey Chapel, Miss. -
Photo credit: Marcia Woods 

Note from the author: The full document linked below the summary has been sent to the Scottish government. South Wales, UK has been getting increasing number of cancers and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, Motor Neurone Disease and MS. We have just had our drinking water analysed in Germany and we have glyphosate in it and in our rivers! Wales, like Scotland has epidemics of type 2 diabetes, obesity and autism.
Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide, is destroying human and animal health as a result of disruption of gut bacteria.Two key problems caused by glyphosate in the diet are nutritional deficiencies, especially minerals and essential amino-acids, and systemic toxicity.

We present graphs from the US which correlate glyphosate application and the percentage of GE soy and corn crops to the incidence and prevalence of various diseases in those on a Western diet. The Pearson’s correlation coefficients are very strong and highly significant for obesity, diabetes, autism, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, deaths from Parkinson’s, Senile Dementia and Alzheimer’s, inflammatory bowel disease and acute kidney failure.

We present Cancer Research UK graphs of upward trends in cancer incidences between 1975 and 2009, which are in line with the US graphs. Other consequences are gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, depression, infertility, birth defects and other cancers.

The data for the amount of non-agricultural use of glyphosate in the UK appear to be confidential. Parts of South Wales, in former mining areas, invasive plants such as Japanese knotweed and Himalayan Balsam abound. The local Council does not hold annual records of glyphosate application to these invasive weeds. It has a contract with a commercial organisation to supply industry-approved vegetation management techniques. 
A quote from the contractor: “The glyphosate we use called round up has a hazard free label”.
Monsanto Corporation has been repeatedly convicted in Law Courts around the world for not telling the truth about the safety of its best-selling weed-killer, Roundup®. In 2010, in a document on glyphosate use in Europe, Monsanto continues to promote the myth. It is described as “environmentally benign”…“has an excellent safety profile to operators, the public and the environment”…”uses to benefit mankind and the environment.”

The level of glyphosate in one Welsh river draining from areas of Japanese knotweed spraying was 190 parts per trillion (ppt) and local tap water was 30 ppt. These were of the order of concentrations found in a study in 2013 which showed that breast cancer cell proliferation is accelerated by glyphosate in extremely low concentrations:
“The present study used pure glyphosate substance at log intervals from 10-12 to 10-6 M. These concentrations are in a crucial range which correlated to the potential biological levels at part per trillion (ppt) to part per billion (ppb) which have been reported in epidemiological studies.” 

In the UK the incidence of breast cancer almost doubled between 1975 and 2010.

Glyphosate sales in Europe are increasing because industry is continually finding new uses. It is recommended throughout the crop cycle, including as a drying agent 7-10 days before harvest. This leaves glyphosate residues on crops which enter the food chain of animals and humans.

On non-agricultural land it is sprayed “around structures on farms, amenity and industrial areas and on railways.” In urban areas it is sprayed on vegetation on streets, pavements and major highways. Japanese Knotweed, Bracken and Rhododendron and are amongst many invasive weeds for which Roundup® is promoted. It is “approved for weed control in forestry and aquatic areas”. In the US its use has increased dramatically on GE crops because of super-weeds. Massive amounts of GM soya is being imported into Europe for animal feed and some foods, and Regulators have been allowing the industry to increase the Maximum Residue Limits for glyphosate in food and feed in imports.

Independent scientists have measured glyphosate in soil, air and rainwater. During flooding events, run-off is particularly high after urban use. The effects of pesticides are manifest at water catchment areas. However, levels of glyphosate and the neonicotinoid insecticides are not monitored in surface water, groundwater or drinking water by the US Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment Program, under the European Water Frame Directive, or by the UK Environment Agency.

Regulators and Industry have only tested the ‘active’ ingredient glyphosate. The commercial formulations contain an untested adjuvant which is toxic to human cells. The work of independent scientists has been rejected or suppressed by Industry, Regulators or Rapporteur Member States. Industry data are hidden on the grounds of commercial confidentiality. When scientists have exposed the dangers of GMOs many have been vilified or have lost their jobs.

Glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) residues were found in soy bean plants, leaves and grains; higher levels were found when glyphosate was sprayed several times during the crop year. In 2013, glyphosate and AMPA residues were found in the urine of more than one third of urban dwellers in 18 countries in Europe. Glyphosate must be in our food and/or drinking water. Regulators have increased the Maximum Residue Levels in food and feedstuffs of glyphosate, neonicotinoid insecticides and many other pesticides.

GMO crops were approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) after 90-day feeding studies on rats by Monsanto. Séralini’s team at CRIIGEN argued that 90 days was too short to evaluate chronic toxicity of glyphosate and GM crops. His team did a 2-year study and found Roundup®-tolerant maize and Roundup® provoked chronic hormone and sex dependent pathologies. Female mortality was 2–3 times increased mostly due to large mammary tumours and disabled pituitary. Males had liver congestions, necrosis, severe kidney nephropathies and large palpable tumours. Tumours started to occur in male rats at 4 months, one month beyond the time for which GMs were tested. When the paper was published in October 2012, industry and GMO scientists cried “fraud!” However, EFSA has eventually agreed on 2-year feeding studies for new GMOs. Here is a 12-minute YouTube made by Séralini’s team over the 2-year period of testing in rats.

Evidence was published in 2013 (a combined study from Australia and the US) that pigs fed a GM diet had abnormal organs, compared with those on a non-GM diet. GM-fed females had on average a 25% heavier uterus than non-GM-fed females and the level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed on the GM diet. This confirmed the experiences of some farmers that mortality was higher in sows on GM feed compared with non-GM. Sows had digestive problems, some died and the piglets had diarrhea. Reproductive problems were manifested by abortions, deformities in new born pigs and smaller litters. They required more antibiotics. Studies of the effects on pathogens in farm animals showed that glyphosate destroys beneficial bacteria and allows harmful ones, such as salmonella and clostridium, to flourish. This could account for outbreaks of food poisoning in humans that continue to occur. In the search for the causes of serious diseases of entire herds of animals in northern Germany, especially cattle, glyphosate has repeatedly been detected in the urine, faeces, milk and feed of the animals.

Glyphosate causes environmental damage to earthworms, songbirds, small mammals and bees. Glyphosate, an endocrine-disrupting herbicide, and the systemic neonicotinoid insecticides, cause immune suppression in insects and mammals. Both are highly toxic to aquatic organisms, amphibians, bees and fish.

US Kid’s Health Report October 2012(1). A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children’s health & intelligence p 26:

“Our current system of industrial agriculture and pest control relies on chemical inputs sold by a handful of corporations. These multinational corporations wield tremendous control over the system, from setting research agendas to financing, crop selection and inputs throughout the production and distribution chain. Not surprisingly, these same corporations also hold significant sway in the policy arena, investing millions of dollars every year to influence voters, lawmakers and regulators at both the state and federal level to protect the market for pesticides. The result is agriculture, food and pest control systems that serve the interests of these corporations well. It does not, however, serve farmers, who have lost day-to-day control of their operations and are putting themselves and their families in harm’s way. Farmworker interests are not served, as workers are continuously exposed to chemicals known to harm human health. And the health of children across the country is compromised by exposure to pesticides used to control pests in agriculture and where they live, learn and play. In short, the system is broken”.

The above statement from Pesticides Action Network North America applies equally well to the UK. The British Government played its part in suppressing the dangers of GM Crops. In 1998 Prime Minister Tony Blair received a phone call from the White House. A Senior GM Scientist Dr Arpad Pusztai working in Scotland had shown that rats fed GM potato had sustained immune damage. Dr Pusztai’s Department at the Rowett Research Institute in Scotland was closed down, Dr Pusztai was suspended, he was silenced and he was banned from working on GMO. Likewise, in 2012, the Science Media Centre did its best to discredit Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini when his 2-year feeding study in rats showed tumours, liver and kidney damage. The Science Media Centre and the Department of Health played down the advice of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for pregnant patients to avoid exposure to pesticides, some of the most toxic of which are marketed for home and garden use. GM Roundup® Ready crops are lethal to human health and the environment, yet the Defra, Science and Environment Ministers are trying to force them on an unwilling public.

As well as working closely with the Agrochemical Corporations, the British Government’s

Strategy for UK Life Sciences(2) is dependent on funding from the Pharmaceutical Corporations and the Pesticides Industry. Syngenta’s parent company is AstraZeneca. Syngenta and AstraZeneca are represented on the UK Advisory Committee on Pesticides and the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Foods, Consumer Products and the Environment. The founder of Syngenta is the Chairman of Cancer Research UK (CRUK). CRUK is giving money (£450 million/year) to the Government’s Strategy for UK Life Sciences and AstraZeneca is providing 22 compounds to academic research to develop medicines. AstraZeneca manufactures six different anti-cancer drugs mainly aimed at breast and prostate cancer. The Corporation has links in Asia, including Hospitals in China, Japan, Korea, and collaborators in Russia. AstraZeneca’s Oncology Website(3) has the following prediction: “Cancer claims over 7 million lives every year and the number continues to rise. Deaths are estimated to reach 12 million by 2030.




Read full report: Glyphosate – Destructor of Human Health and Biodiversity
Read judgement from Attorney General of New York, Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, against Monsanto for false advertising regarding the safety of Roundup in water: Monsanto Judgement

Canada's Dark Age Prime Minister: Muzzling Scientists, Defunding Science Research

Canada's Government Silences Scientists, Sides With Corporate Interests


Climate scientists were muzzled from speaking to the press, causing an 80 percent decrease in the coverage of environmental stories.

In 2008, two years into Stephen Harper's administration, scientists working for the federal agency Environment Canada were told they can't speak with the press unless they had approval from higher up. Now it seems to have ramped up even more, with the Canadian government being accused of silencing scientists, especially in regard to the Alberta tar sands, which, as you know, would be the source of oil that would flow through the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.

Yves Engler is a Canadian commentator and author. His most recent book is The Ugly Canadian - Stephen Harper's Foreign Policy, and previously he published The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy and Canada in Haiti: Waging War on The Poor Majority

Failed Propaganda "Professor" O'Bagy Profits Pro-War Presentation to State with McCain Hire

It Gets Worse: John McCain Hires Fake PhD Syria ‘Expert’ Elizabeth O’Bagy 

by 21st Century Wire 

Elizabeth is a talented researcher, and I have been very impressed by her knowledge and analysis in multiple briefings over the last year,” McCain told Foreign Policy in a statement. “I look forward to her joining my office.”

O’Bagy was fired from the Washington, DC based think-tank shortly thereafter, when it was revealed that she did not have a combined masters/PhD from Georgetown University as she had claimed.

It appears that US and Arizona taxpayers may have to absorb an additional expense, as John McCain hires his latest foreign policy protegé — a woman who was previously dismissed for falsifying her PhD credentials.

Elizabeth O’Bagy, a key operative in helping to pad Washington and Israel’s militarised policy regarding Syria by constructing the “moderate rebel” myth, was dumped by Kimberly Kagan and William Kristol’s neoconservative and pro-Israeli think tank, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) after it was discovered O’Bagy had claimed a nonexistent PhD from Georgetown University.

In addition to her work with the ISW, O’Bagy has also co-authored Syrian policy papers for the Henry Jackson Society in Britain, an pro-Israeli advocacy institution who, in this instance, was advocating a US-led military strike against Syria in order to eliminate Syria’s air force and air defences.

If that wasn’t enough, O’Bagy is (was?) also policy director a pro-rebel, money-raising machine and policy promoting outfit called the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF). Exactly how much money SETF has collected this year (or where it has been spent, and who it’s ended up with) is not fully known. The group is heavily involved in what they describe as “field work” and building a parallel government structures inside rebel-held areas in Syria.

Elizabeth O’Bagy ticks all the boxes needed for a high level intelligence operative, or even a US-Israeli double agent. Through her resume and work, you can know McCain’s agenda for Syria. What is the full nature of McCain’s relationship with the young 26 year old?

The final and biggest question of all is: why has John McCain been chosen to ram this one down Americans’ throats? What has the Shadow Government got on McCain?

RT - The Washington scholar who was cited by US leaders calling for a military strike on Syria, only to lose her job for fabricating her academic credentials, has been hired by the office of US Senator John McCain, Foreign Policy magazine reports.

Elizabeth O’Bagy was formerly employed by the Institute for the Study of War, where she quickly became a respected voice on the ongoing conflict between Syrian President Bashar Assad and opposition forces. McCain and US Secretary of State John Kerry once read from an editorial O’Bagy wrote in the Wall Street Journal when advocating for a military strike in front of Congress.

O’Bagy was fired from the Washington, DC based think-tank shortly thereafter, when it was revealed that she did not have a combined masters/PhD from Georgetown University as she had claimed.

The article McCain and Kerry referenced argued the US should send arms to Syrian rebels, claiming that “contrary to many media accounts, the war in Syria is not being waged entirely, or even predominantly, by dangerous Islamists and Al-Qaeda die-hards.”

Kerry said it was a “very interesting article” and that he was impressed by O’Bagy’s “enormous” experience.

O’Bagy, 26, also spent time as the political director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, which she failed to disclose to the Wall Street Journal before her opinion piece was published. The Syrian Emergency Task Force is an advocacy group that lobbies on behalf of Syrian rebels in Washington. The newspaper was later criticized for what some journalists said was a delayed reaction in disclosing that affiliation alongside O’Bagy’s column.

O’Bagy has said she was not employed by the group, only working as a contractor, and was not affiliated with any lobbying efforts. She later acknowledged facilitating a meeting between the group and with commanders from the Free Syrian Army.

While she was fired from the Institute for the Study of War for stretching her credentials, Kimberly Kagan, the group’s founder, refused to discount any of O’Bagy’s work.

“Everything I’ve looked at is rock solid,” Kagan told Politico at the time. “Every thread that we have pulled upon has been verified by multiple sources.”

Statement from Hunger Striking Canadians Held Six Weeks in Egypt Without Charge

Impending Charges? Tarek and John in their own words 

by Justin Podur

September 28/13, 11am

We have held on to this statement out of fear that the Egyptian authorities would harm Tarek and John if we released it. But given the announcement of impending charges in the Toronto Star today, we think that their own words can explain what the “evidence” the Egyptian authorities claim to have is. We believe that the impending charges have much more to do with what Tarek and John witnessed on August 16th, rather than what the Egyptian authorities claim they did.


"We are on the 12th day of our hunger strike at Tora, Cairo's main prison, located on the banks of the Nile. We've been held here since August 16 in ridiculous conditions: no phone calls, little to no exercise, sharing a 3m x 10m cell with 36 other political prisoners, sleeping like sardines on concrete with the cockroaches; sharing a single tap of earthy Nile water.

"We never planned to stay in Egypt longer than overnight. We arrived in Cairo on the 15th with transit visas and all the necessary paperwork to proceed to our destination: Gaza. Tarek volunteers at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, and brings people with him each time. John intended to shoot a short film about Tarek's work.

"Because of the coup, the official Rafah border was opening and closing randomly, and we were stuck in Cairo for the day. We were carrying portable camera gear (one light, one microphone, John's HD Canon, two Go-Pros) and gear for the hospital (routers for a much-needed wifi network and two disassembled toy-sized helicopters for testing the transportation of medical samples).

"Because of the protests in Ramses Square and around the country on the 16th, our car couldn't proceed to Gaza. We decided to check out the Square, five blocks from our hotel, carrying our passports and John's HD camera. The protest was just starting – peaceful chanting, the faint odour of tear gas, a helicopter lazily circling overhead – when suddenly calls of “doctor”. A young man carried by others from God-knows-where, bleeding from a bullet wound. Tarek snapped into doctor mode...and started to work doing emergency response, trying to save lives, while John did video documentation, shooting a record of the carnage that was unfolding. The wounded and dying never stopped coming. Between us, we saw over fifty Egyptians die: students, workers, professionals, professors, all shapes, all ages, unarmed. We later learned the body count for the day was 102.

"We left in the evening when it was safe, trying to get back to our hotel on the Nile. We stopped for ice cream. We couldn't find a way through the police cordon though, and finally asked for help at a check point.

"That's when we were: arrested, searched, caged, questioned, interrogated, videotaped with a 'Syrian terrorist', slapped, beaten, ridiculed, hot-boxed, refused phone calls, stripped, shaved bald, accused of being foreign mercenaries. Was it our Canadian passports, or the footage of Tarek performing CPR, or our ice cream wrappers that set them off? They screamed 'Canadian' as they kicked and hit us. John had a precisely etched bootprint bruise on his back for a week.

"We were two of 602 arrested that night, all 602 potentially facing the same grab-bag of ludicrous charges: arson, conspiracy, terrorism, possession of weapons, firearms, explosives, attacking a police station. The arrest stories of our Egyptian cellmates are remarkably similar to ours: Egyptians who were picked up on dark streets after the protest, by thugs or cops, blocks or miles from the police station that is the alleged site of our alleged crimes.

"We've been here in Tora prison for six weeks, and are now in a new cell (3.5m x 5.5m) that we share with 'only' six others. We're still sleeping on concrete with the cockroaches, and still share a single tap of Nile water, but now we get (almost) daily exercise and showers. Still no phone calls. The prosecutor won't say if there's some outstanding issue that's holding things up. The routers, the film equipment, or the footage of Tarek treating bullet wounds through that long bloody afternoon? Indeed, we would welcome our day in a real court with the real evidence, because then this footage would provide us with our alibi and serve as a witness to the massacre.

"We deserve due process, not cockroaches on concrete. We demand to be released.

"Peace, John & Tarek"

CONTACT: Cecilia Greyson,, Justin Podur,

BC Liberals Take Aim at Agriculture Land Reserve System to Achieve Its "Goals"

Urgent Action on ALR Needed

by BC Food Systems Network

We need to bring to your attention an urgent matter. It pertains to the Agriculture Land Reserve. We need British Columbians to speak out NOW on the importance of the ALR and public process to make any changes to it or the Agriculture Land Commission.

You may have read this summer that Honourable Bill Bennett, the Minister in Charge of the Core Review Process has stated that the review will look at the Agriculture Land Reserve.

“We’re going to look at some sacrosanct things, like certain agencies. We’re going to look at the Agricultural Land Reserve and the Agricultural Land Commission,” Bill Bennett, minister responsible for the core review, said Wednesday.
“I’m going to look at things that politicians have been nervous about looking at over the years and ask to better understand how they make their decisions and why they make their decisions and determine whether they’re structured to help achieve the goals of our provincial government”.

A recent government press release indicates that the only public input into this Core Review process is scheduled between now and October 16 through the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services as it tours the Province hearing input on the 2014 budget.

See press release:

The schedule of hearings is below.

We need people at each of the hearings letting the committee know that this input is not sufficient and that the ALR is important to British Columbians. We will shortly be sending you some key messages that the BCFSN Policy Working Group has drafted for you but we encourage you to speak from your own experiences and your regional perspective.

You might find it helpful to look at the record in Hansard of the presentation made by Linda Geggie and Kathleen Gibson on Thursday, September 26. You can find it here: (Scroll down to just after 0950 when our presentation starts.)

We need to act fast! Here’s how to get on the presentation list in your area. You will be given 10 minutes to present with 5 minutes for questions from Committee members.

To register, please contact the Parliamentary Committees Office by phone, 1-877-428-8337 1-877-428-8337 FREE , or by e-mail: and include the presenter and organization name(s) and full contact information.


Presentation schedule:
Please note: Due to time constraints, the Committee is unable to accommodate PowerPoint presentations. Please provide the Committee with 14 copies of any written material you would like to distribute to Committee Members at the time of your presentation. The Committee would also appreciate receiving an electronic copy of your presentation by email either before or shortly after your appearance. Please submit to:

ICBC B, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 580 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Friday, September 20, 2013
1:00 pm to: 7:00 pm

Public Hearings

Guildford C, Sheraton Vancouver Guildford, 15269 104th Avenue, Surrey
Monday, September 23, 2013
9:00 am to: 5:00 pm

POCO Room, POCO Conference Centre, 1545 Lougheed Highway, Port Coquitlam
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
9:00 am to: 1:00 pm
Public Hearing

Sardis Room, Coast Chilliwack Hotel, 45920 First Avenue, Chilliwack
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
4:00 pm to: 8:00 pm
Public Hearing

Tranquille Ballroom, Holiday Inn and Suites, 675 Tranquille Road, Kamloops
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
8:00 am to: 12:00 pm
West Auditorium, Merritt Civic Centre, 1950 Mamette Avenue, Merritt
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
4:00 pm to: 7:00 pm
Douglas Fir Committee Room, Parliament Buildings, Victoria
Thursday, September 26, 2013
9:00 am to: 3:00 pm
Public Hearing

Fernie Salon,Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort, 209 Van Horne Street, Cranbrook
Monday, September 30, 2013
1:00 pm to: 5:00 pm
Public Hearing

Columbia Room, Best Western Plus, 1001 Rossland Avenue, Trail
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
9:00 am to: 12:00 pm
Public Hearing

Council Chambers, Penticton City Hall, 171 Main Street, Penticton
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
4:00 pm to: 8:00 pm
Public Hearing

Vineyard 3 & 4, Coast Capri Hotel, 1171 Harvey Avenue, Kelowna
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
8:00 am to: 12:00 pm
Public Hearing

Benson Room, Coast Bastion Inn, 11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
4:30 pm to: 8:30 pm
Public Hearing

North Island College, 2300 Ryan Road Courtenay
Thursday, October 03, 2013
9:00 am to: 12:00 pm
Public Hearing Video Conference

Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Education Room 3 (basement level), 2101 32nd Street Vernon
Thursday, October 03, 2013
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Public Hearing Video Conference

Room 1, Fixx Urban Grill, 512 Highway #2, Dawson Creek
Monday, October 07, 2013
1:00 pm to: 5:00 pm
Public Hearing

Skylight Ballroom, Ramada Downtown, 444 George Street, Prince George
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
8:00 am to: 12:00 pm
Public Hearing

Room 119, Pioneer Complex, 351 Hodgson Road, Williams Lake
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
4:00 pm to: 8:00 pm
Public Hearing

Hall, Royal Canadian Legion, 3840 1st Avenue Smithers
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
8:00 am to: 12:00 pm

Metlakatla Room, Highliner Plaza Hotel, 815 1st Ave West, Prince Rupert
Wednesday, October 09, 2013
4:30 pm to: 8:30 pm

Community Futures, 335A Vaughan Street, Quesnel
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
9:00 am to: 12:00 pm

Northern Lights College, 9820 120 Avenue, Fort St. John
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
9:00 am to: 12:00 pm

For more info:

Linda Geggie
Chair, BCFSN Policy Working Group

For general info and to subscribe to the


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Friday, September 27, 2013

Stopping the Faroese Slaughter of Whales and Dolphins

SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY: Sea Shepherd Global Prepares for Operation Grindstop 2014


AMSTERDAM - In the wake of continued barbaric killings of sentient, intelligent small whales and dolphins in the Faroe Islands, Sea Shepherd Global is preparing for the launch of Operation GrindStop 2014, the most wide-ranging, determined and longest-duration Faroe Islands campaign in Sea Shepherd history.

The campaign was initiated and is being coordinated by Robert Read from Sea Shepherd UK.


Announcement of this new campaign follows the success of previous Sea Shepherd campaigns in the Faroes and is driven by the continuing atrocities against cetaceans committed by the Faroese this year alone in which 1,306 cetacean lives have been destroyed in just a 63-day period. Recently, a pod of 430 Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins were mercilessly slaughtered, and just this past Sunday in the second horrific bloody massacre at Hvalvik Bay this year, another 120 pilot whales lost their lives to Faroese knives.

Grind hunts to the Faroese are ‘traditional Viking fun’ and have been around since at least the year 1584 (when records started being kept of such hunts). However, the medieval, barbaric hunts are just as cruel today as when they first began. A Grind hunt starts when fishing boats or ferries offshore sight a pod of Pilot Whales or dolphins. Soon after, much like the slaughters in Taiji, Japan, the pod is driven into a bay with smaller fishing boats, private motor boats and even “non-traditional” jet skis. However, when confronting the Faroese Grind, there are 23 different Grind ‘coves’ around the many islands in the Faroese archipelago where a cetacean massacre could potentially take place, as opposed to just one cove in Taiji, Japan. This makes it all the more difficult to anticipate where the killings will occur or to get there in time to intervene and prevent the slaughter.

Once the pod is driven into a designated Grind bay, every last soul in the pod is forced onto the beach or pulled up with ropes into the shallows using a blunt hook (called a soknargul) in their blowhole. Faroese men plunge blades into the whales’ bodies until each cetacean’s spinal cord is severed, rarely on the first attempt and more often it takes several minutes for the whale or dolphin to die. The pursuit and beaching of these animals is extremely terrifying and stressful for them (in the UK, and also across Europe, the harassment of dolphins and whales is a crime in itself) and the killing looks just like what it actually is — a frenzied massacre of innocents. The Faroese citizens who take part and rush into the water to join in the slaughter do not spare any lives — mothers, babies, pregnant females — the entire cetacean family is killed and the waters of the Grind bays turn blood red for hours.

The 23 Grind bays are assigned to six whaling districts across the Faroe Islands, within which the meat and blubber is supposed to be (according to the Faroese Government) divided among local residents. However, as Sea Shepherd has previously exposed, some of the whale meat ends up in restaurants for consumption by tourists. In recent years, Faroese officials have warned certain individuals, such as women of child-bearing age and children, should not eat the meat, as it is laden with mercury, PCBs, dioxins and DDT derivatives and is therefore not safe for human consumption. As a result, after large Grinds have taken place, Sea Shepherd believes much of the meat and the carcasses are distributed to businesses for profit or discarded back into the ocean after the slaughter, further compounding the environmental and moral tragedy that is the ‘Grindadrap’ (which translates as ‘Pilot Whale Slaughter’).
“The Academy Award-winning documentary, The Cove, may have turned the international spotlight on the bloody carnage of dolphins brutally slain in Taiji by Japanese fishermen,” said Read. “But on the edge of Northwest Europe there are also regular drive hunts of whales and dolphins just as needlessly destructive, equally barbaric and perhaps even more merciless in our very own ‘Taiji of the North’ — The Faroe Islands,” Read explained.

Sea Shepherd Global’s campaign will utilize a variety of methods to combat the Faroese Grind including public education, land-based investigations, media relations, deterrent patrols, government relations, celebrity involvement, non-violent interventionist tactics and education of the local eco-tourism industry, among other tactics.

Of importance to note is the fact that Pilot Whales are classified as “strictly protected” under the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. By allowing the slaughter to continue in the Faeroes, Denmark is in violation of its obligations as a signatory to the Convention.

“2014 will mark three years since Sea Shepherd has made its presence known in Faroese waters,” Read said. “The last time we patrolled there, no whales or dolphins were killed on our watch. Our clients need us — it’s time to return,” he added.

# # #

About Sea Shepherd:

Sea Shepherd was Founded by Captain Paul Watson, a world renowned, respected leader in environmental issues and co-founder of Greenpeace. Sea Shepherd UK is part of the Global Sea Shepherd movement to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced oceanic ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations. Visit for more information.

BACKGROUND: Sea Shepherd’s History in the Faroe Islands

• Sea Shepherd has been leading the opposition against the slaughter of whales and dolphins in the Faroe Islands since the summer of 1983 when David McColl from Glasgow, Scotland led a small crew to the Faroes and using inflatable boats managed to disrupt a Grind hunt. This was Sea Shepherd’s first intervention and the inflatable boats were heavily damaged by the whale killers.

• The Sea Shepherd II sailed there for the first ship based campaign in 1985, then sailing again in 1986 to document and obstruct the Faeroese pilot whale hunt. During that campaign five Sea Shepherd crewmembers were arrested on land and were held without charge, so the Sea Shepherd II refused to leave Faroese waters. The Faroese responded by attacking with bullets and tear gas so the crew of the Sea Shepherd II defended our ship with water cannon shots of chocolate and lemon pie-filling. The Sea Shepherd II escaped with documentation of Faroese whaling activities and the dramatic incidents were filmed and aired in a BBC produced award-winning documentary entitled ‘Black Harvest’. Additional footage was also used for the UK television documentary series ‘Defenders of Wildlife’ in an episode about Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd called ‘Ocean Warrior’ which aired in 1993.

• In 2000, Sea Shepherd’s ship Ocean Warrior sailed to the Faroe Islands and the Grind hunts were featured heavily as a consequence in the European media. Sea Shepherd brought economic pressure to bear against those companies still purchasing seafood from the Faroes and as a result more than 20,000 European retail outlets terminated their Faeroese fish contracts.

• During the summer of 2010, Sea Shepherd launched Operation GrindStop (after which the new campaign is named). Sea Shepherd’s Peter Hammarstedt went undercover to the Faroe Islands to gather evidence of the gruesome “Grind” hunt in Klaksvik. This was followed two weeks later by Sea Shepherd’s Undercover Operative Sofia Jonsson documenting and exposing the Grind at Leynar. A massive, secret underwater pilot whale graveyard was first discovered during this campaign. Sea Shepherd also sent the ‘Golfo Azzurro’ which completed a month of covert coastal surveillance patrols before being discovered, boarded and searched by Faroese police, then followed for the duration of the campaign by the Danish Navy (at great expense to Denmark’s taxpayers).

• In 2011, during ‘Operation Ferocious Isles,” as Sea Shepherd’s campaign was called, not a single whale or dolphin was killed on the beaches of the Faroe Islands while Sea Shepherd patrolled. Sea Shepherd’s crew aboard the fast interceptor vessel Brigitte Bardot sent divers to investigate the underwater graveyard where pilot whale carcasses are discarded over the coastal cliffs from Grind hunts held at Vestmanna and Leynar. Operation Ferocious Isles was chronicled in a five-episode series on Animal Planet called “Whale Wars: Viking Shores” (2012).

Turkey Opts for Chinese Missile Defense

Turkey Chooses Chinese Long Range Missile Defense

by Peter Lee - China Matters

On September 26, 2013, Turkey made the rather eyebrow-raising decision to put its long range missile defense eggs in a Chinese basket, announcing it had awarded a US$3 billion contract to the People's Republic of China for its truck-mounted "shoot and scoot" FD-2000 system.

The Chinese FD-2000 is based on the Hong Qi missile, which has been around since the 1990s. The FD-2000 is an export version of the HQ-9 that appeared in 2009 and is marketed as a next-generation improvement on the Russian S-300 system, but whose fire control radar looks more like the radar matching US-based Raytheon's Patriot missile system (with the implication that the PRC filched the technology, maybe with some help from Israel). [1]

Defense correspondent Wendell Minick relayed the description of the FD-2000 that China provided at a 2010 Asian arms show:
It can target cruise missiles (7-24 km), air-to-ground missiles (7-50 km), aircraft (7-125 km), precision-guided bombs and tactical ballistic missiles (7-25 km). "FD-2000 is mainly provided for air force and air defense force for asset air defense to protect core political, military and economic targets," according to the brochure of China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC), the manufacturer of the system. It can also coordinate with other air defense systems to "form a multi-layer air defense system for regional air defense." [2] Turkey is procuring 12 of these systems (it had originally requested 20 Patriot systems when Syria heated up and got six for a year, since renewed).

The FD-2000 looks great on paper. However, it appears to be untested in combat - and even the Patriot system is apparently not effective against cruise missiles, implying that the Chinese system isn't going to do any better. Political issues aside - and there were a lot of political issues - the deciding factor for Turkey was probably low price, and China's willingness to do co-production and technology transfer.

Maybe the Chinese government are eager to put the FD-2000 in some foreign hot spot in the hopes of getting some real, battlefield data and make some upgrades before the cruise missiles start flying toward Beijing. [3]

[This post originally appeared at Asia Times Online on September 27, 2013, under the title Turkey Goes for Chinese take-away defense. It can be reposted if ATOl is credited and a link provided.]

Press reports from June already implied that Turkey was leaning toward the Chinese system. However, Turkey's announcement in the midst of the Syrian chemical weapons negotiations still looks like a slap at the United States, which makes the Patriot missile system, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is now manning six Patriot batteries at present installed in Turkey. [4]

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan certainly is feeling piqued at the US-led detour into chemical weapon destruction in Syria, instead of support for the quick regime collapse that he has been craving ever since he made the precipitous and rather premature decision to call for the fall of Bashar al-Assad in the summer of 2011.

Turkey's aggressive regime-change posture has always carried with it the risk of Syrian chemical weapon retaliation, as a Xinhua piece pointed out in early November:
Turkey's army build up on its Syrian border continued, with some 400 chemical, biological and nuclear units arriving in the region as a measure against a possible chemical threat.

While some analysts cited NATO anti-missile defense systems deployed in Turkey, others doubted their effectiveness."The citizens in the southern border have not been given adequate equipment to protect themselves, especially from chemical attacks," said Turkish academic Soli Ozel. "Let's say that one battery misses one missile ... The smart missile may not be so smart." [5] Suspicion of the Patriot's missile-busting awesomeness seems to be endemic in Turkey:
Sait Yilmaz, an expert, told Turkish daily Today's Zaman that Patriots - the anti-ballistic missiles provided by NATO - would not be effective against short-distance missiles. He said that if Syria fired a large number of missiles on Turkish targets at such a short distance, most would go uncountered. [6] The general consensus seems to be that if Syria unleashed a barrage of short-range missiles the Patriot missiles would not do a sensational job; indeed, the suspicion is that the six batteries are in Turkey merely as a symbolic show of NATO support for Turkey. Presumably, the protection provided by the FD-2000 would also be less than 100%. Syria, however, is something of a sideshow in Turkey's missile defense game.

Turkey's decision to procure these missile defense assets goes back to 2011 and was part of Turkey's ambiguous dance with the United States, NATO, and Iran and the threat of Iran's long range missiles.

In 2011, the Obama administration announced that Turkey's participation in the US/NATO integrated ballistic missile defense system would be limited to hosting a radar station at Malatya - without any NATO provided missile defense. Unsurprisingly, Iran announced that a NATO radar station in Turkey would have a bull's eye painted on it and Turkey was left to its own devices to deal with the Iranian threat. Therefore, the Turkish government embarked on its procurement odyssey seeking a defense against long range (ie Iranian) missiles, which ended with the announcement of the purchase of the FD-2000.

It can be assumed that Turkey, eager to maintain its regional clout as an independent security actor, made the conscious decision to stick a finger in Iran's eye by siding with the US and NATO on the radar (while stipulating that Iran must never be formally identified as the radar's target), and to try to manage Iran's extreme displeasure by deploying a more Turkish, non-NATO, presumably less confrontationally managed missile defense system. [7]

Performance questions aside, the Syrian trauma has reinforced Turkey's desire for a non-NATO missile defense system. As an analysis on the Carnegie Europe website pointed out, Turkey's feelings of being slighted by the US and NATO on Syria are no accident and translate rather directly into an independent defense policy:
In a little-known episode of NATO history, the only Article 5 [collective self defense] crisis-management exercise ever conducted by the organization ended in disagreement. Coincidentally, the scenario for the exercise, held in 2002, was designed to simulate an Article 5 response to a chemical weapons attack by Amberland, a hypothetical southern neighbor of Turkey.

Amberland was known to have several Scud missiles, tipped with biological and chemical warheads, aimed at Turkey. During the seven-day exercise, the United States and Turkey reportedly took a more hardline stance in support of preemptive strikes, while Germany, France, and Spain preferred to defuse the crisis through more political means.

The exercise apparently ended with NATO members disagreeing about the prospective NATO response before any attack was carried out or Article 5 was officially invoked. [8] As Turkey sees it, in other words, maybe the danger on Iran is that NATO will go too far and embroil Turkey in a regional confrontation it does not desire; on Syria, the reality is that NATO doesn't go far enough, and is leaving Turkey vulnerable to Syrian retaliation for Erdogan's perilous overreach on Syrian regime change.

Even though the FD-2000 is not well-suited to coping with a Syrian short range missile threat, the missile defense batteries could also assist in enforcing a no-fly zone at the Syrian-Turkish border, something that NATO has specifically ruled out for its Patriot batteries in Turkey (which are for the most part safely out of range of the Syrian border and whose main purpose seems to be protecting NATO and US military installations) without an enabling UN resolution or suitable coalition.

Turkey would probably be happy to have this independent capability in its security/Syria destabilization portfolio though, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars per pop, it will probably think twice about a shooting spree of FD-2000 missiles at Syrian planes. Erdogan is also unhappy with Russia's frontline support of the Syrian regime militarily as well as diplomatically, especially compared with Chinese discretion, and that's probably why he didn't choose the S-300 option.

Iran, which has experienced the headaches of politicized supply (or, to be more accurate, non-supply) of its S-300 missile defense system by Russia, is also reportedly considering the FD-2000 (its manufacturer, CPMIEC, was sanctioned by the United States for unspecified Iran-related transgressions presumably relating to Chinese willingness to transfer missile technology) ... but maybe Iran is thinking long and hard about the rumor that the fire control radar technology passed through Israel's hands on its way to China.

Apparently a Western marketing point steering Turkey away from Russian or Chinese systems was the argument that inoperability with NATO equipment would be a problem and the missile defense batteries would be sitting there without vital linkages to NATO theater-scale radar and missile-killing capabilities (though Greece, with an inventory of Russian S-300s, somehow managed to make do).

Well, maybe that's the point. Erdogan is implying he doesn't want to rely on the United States or NATO - which might demand Turkey's diplomatic and security subservience and NATO control over Turkish missile defense assets - to keep his missile defense system working, while exposing both missile sites and the radar facility to Iranian NATO-related wrath.

Perhaps Erdogan has abandoned his dreams of full partnership with NATO and the European Union, and doesn't see Turkey as Europe's front line state in the Middle East. He wants his own, independent missile defense capability to protect distinctly Turkish targets and manage his relationships with Iran and Syria on a more bilateral basis.

And as far as the People's Republic of China is concerned, it can mollify Iran with the observation that China, by stepping up and providing the system in place of Raytheon or a French/Italian consortium, was preventing the full integration of Turkey into the NATO missile defense bloc.

In which case, Turkey's name on the NATO membership rolls should include an asterisk denoting its special status. Or maybe it should be a red star.

1. See here
2. See here.
3. See here.
4. See here
5. See here.
6. See here.
7. See here.
8. See here

Helping the Hupacasath First Nation Turn Back FIPA Deal

Chief & Council have extended the fundraising date to Monday Sept. 30th

by Hupacasath First Nation

The Hupacasath First Nation needs your help to continue their legal battle against the Canada-China FIPA investor deal. On January 18, 2013, the Hupacasath First Nation of British Columbia took the first steps toward challenging the Harper government’s new corporate rights pact with China – the Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPA). That’s the day the Hupacasath filed an application in court to stop the ratification of the FIPA until the government has fulfilled its obligation to consult with First Nations about the impacts the treaty will have on their rights and their lands.

No trade or investment deal in recent memory has attracted so much opposition in Canada – and for good reason. No investment treaty since NAFTA poses a greater threat to the environment, public health, First Nations and basic notions of democracy. If the FIPA is ratified, China-based corporations will be able to directly challenge local, provincial and federal policies that interfere with their “right” to make a profit from energy, mining or other controversial projects. Canadian firms will have the same “right” in China, which will have a direct impact on human rights and environmental protections in that country also.

The Hupacasath First Nation is doing all of us a great service by challenging the FIPA with China. Their legal battle will put Canada’s FIPAs on trial and shine an important light on how trade and investment pacts undermine democracy in Canada and around the world.

The Hupacasath's legal challenge is our last and best chance to stop this terrible deal from being signed, but they need your help.

Please donate to this critical legal battle.

Narrow Openings: Media Goes Sideways on Climate Change Coverage

Tilting At Easy Targets: Climate Change And The ‘Highly Ideological’ Liberal Mindset

by David Cromwell  - Media Lens

When a senior UN climate official warns that the world is 'heading for a heart attack' (The Times, September 23, 2013), there is clearly no time to lose in taking the radical action necessary to avert disaster. But we also have to understand why it is that no matter how many scientific warnings and 'wake up calls' are issued, we are still headed for climate chaos.

The standard liberal view is that climate sceptics have a heavy burden of responsibility for boosting climate confusion and derailing any rational attempts to constrain business as usual. If only the media would stop giving them so much attention, a healthy public debate could take place, followed by real action to combat rapid climate change. Thus, in the Observer last Sunday, economist Will Hutton warned that:

'Sceptics will rubbish a new report on climate change, dismissing calls for governmental action. Don't be swayed.'

The forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will:

'be met by a barrage of criticism from the new "sceptical" environmental movement – almost entirely on the political right.'
'Don't be bamboozled', he continued, 'as Britain's centre-right media move to join with the sceptics to rubbish a careful body of scientific work that has been arrived at by exhaustive cross-examination.'

Hutton rightly called for 'collective action' to 'minimise the risk' of the 'terrifying' effects of climate change, and he criticised the 'highly ideological rightwing mind [which] does not think in this way.' For those clinging to that 'faith system', climate change is 'necessarily a gigantic scam, backdoor socialism' and the IPCC itself is 'the product of Marxists and deluded socialists.' Clearly, such a mindset is not based on reality.

Hutton then turned to the BBC in his list of targets:

'BBC attempts to broadcast [the IPCC's] findings in as impartial way as possible will be portrayed as yet more evidence of BBC bias, even though the BBC will pack its coverage with lots of sceptical voices, notwithstanding their marginalisation by world science, to try to cover its back. By the week's end, the risk is you will be less certain than you are now, tempted to join the apparent new consensus that there is no need for an urgent response. The sceptics will have done their job and national – let alone international – action will be more remote.'

No doubt Hutton's piece came across to many as a powerful, valiant plea for enlightened rationalism. And he made several good points, as indicated. But, in reality, it was yet another example of the hobbled analysis on climate change routinely offered up by the Guardian-Observer flagship of liberal journalism.

Consider Hutton's remark in his article about 'the astonishing political economy of Britain's media.' As Hutton naively sees it, 'the duty of newspapers [is] to impart information as objectively and truthfully as possible, keeping comment rigorously separate.' This noble aim, based on the false notion of a 'firewall' between news and comment has, he claims, 'been progressively dropped', making it sound like a discarded fashion accessory. In Hutton's seriously restricted perspective, the 'duty of newspapers' is supposedly independent of the extreme concentration of profit-seeking media ownership, heavy subsidies in the form of advertising revenue, and a lapdog reliance on the endless musings and mutterings of government and business leaders (see here). But for Hutton these fundamental features of the corporate media pass without mention. Instead, he steers clear of any structural analysis of 'the astonishing political economy of Britain's media' and instead goes for the usual easy targets:

'Right-of-centre newspapers are now edited ruthlessly to make their readers think what their editors and proprietors want – on immigration, welfare, Europe, tax, political affiliation or whatever. Climate change has joined the list.'

And so Hutton has nothing to say about his own paper which, like the rest of the corporate press, is dependent on advertising revenue for around 60 per cent of its income. Nor does he have anything to say about how embedded his employers are in a corporate-financial-establishment network with links to banking, industry, fossil fuels and big business. As ever, even the best 'liberal journalism' routinely ignores what we have called the 'Eight Corporate Media Unmentionables'. Here are just three of them:

The inherently biocidal, indeed psychopathic, logic of corporate capitalism, structurally locked into generating maximised revenues in minimum time at minimum corporate cost.

The proven track record of big business in promoting catastrophic consumption regardless of the consequences for human and environmental health.

The lethal role of the corporate media in promoting the planet-devouring aims of private power.

All of these factors are essentially excluded from the media agenda, thus extinguishing any hopes for a fully rational discussion of climate chaos and how to avoid it.  

Don't Mention The Media!

Veteran environment journalist Geoffrey Lean similarly dodged the real media issues in a blog piece on the Daily Telegraph website. At first sight, Lean said, the climate sceptics have 'been winning the battle for public opinion'. He referred to a recent survey showing that 'the proportion of Britons who believe the world's climate is not changing has increased almost fourfold since 2005 from four to 19 per cent, and almost doubled in the last year.' However, as Lean rightly pointed out, the overwhelming majority of the population has nevertheless consistently rejected the misleading, anti-scientific propaganda from the sceptic lobby.

Although this lobby is small, they are very well-funded - typically by cynical business interests - and they continue to mobilise 'far more effectively than their opponents'. As a prime example of this, Lean refers to a small number of errors in the thousands of pages of earlier IPCC work which were:

'brilliantly exploited by the sceptics and massively mishandled by the scientists, causing an erosion in the IPCC's authority among the public and the press alike.'

Lean continued:

'Ever since the scientific community has come off worse in the public debate, often undermined by its tendency to focus on uncertainties, while the sceptics betrayed no doubt.'

So scientists have let themselves down, in Lean's eyes. What about the green pressure groups?

'There is less excuse for the environmental groups, whose very purpose is to make a case to the public, press and policymakers, and thus bring about change. But they too largely quit the field when the controversy began. Friends of the Earth, for example, declined to enter the lists on behalf of the scientists at the University of East Anglia whose emails were leaked in November 2009 – and in some cases skilfully misrepresented by the sceptics – because they had not yet held a meeting to discuss it. They finally held their meeting, and issued a statement, months after the event. The inconvenient truth is that all too often the pressure groups, dependent on popular support for funds, are shamefully reluctant to battle a head wind.'

Media Lens, too, has pointed out the sorry state of environmentalism today (see here, here and here), particularly among the big pressure groups upon which so many green hopes were once placed. Where we differ in our diagnosis from Lean, however, is that the biggest 'inconvenient truth' is that the major green groups have become ever more neutered, compromised and even aligned with 'mainstream' political 'debate'. Given the public's deep discontent with the majority of politicians and the media, the smart thing for environment groups to do would be to be boldly challenge the existing power and class structure that is pursuing its own selfish ends at the expense of the planet and most of humanity. That means exposing the very corporate nature of society that is crushing us; not appealing to big business to be a little bit less lethal.

When Lean was environment editor at the Independent on Sunday, a reader challenged him to look at the global economic system of capitalism as a root cause of climate instability. Lean wasn't having any of it:

'Why don't you really read what we have been writing over the years rather than relying on media lens?' (email, February 18, 2005)

In other words, don't even bother raising the issue! And certainly don't consider the possibility that a corporate media might be promoting inaction in response to a problem caused by corporate interests.

In his blog piece, Lean pointed to the solid public support in favour of climate science and renewable energy, concluding feebly:

'All, of which perhaps goes to show that the public are less swayed by media and political fashion than those of us working in those fields like to believe. To be honest, I find that reassuring. But I guess I would, wouldn't I?'

At least the veteran journalist recognises his own lack of concern, verging on smugness, that the public should not be concerned by the corporate media and 'political fashion'. All this from one of the best environment journalists in the country.

'The Primary Loyalty Is To Corporate Backers'

Paul Vallely, a former colleague of Lean's, wrote along similar lines in a piece for the Independent on Sunday titled, 'Whatever happened to climate change?' The two key reasons for the public remaining supposedly unconvinced of the need for radical action are 'the complexity of the science and the simplistic nature of much media reporting, some of which is wilfully ignorant.' Those factors are relevant, but Vallely's attempt at an explanation avoids essential facts about power in society. Sadly, this visiting professor in public ethics and media at the University of Chester is yet another example of a liberal commentator who appears ignorant of the propaganda nature and function of the corporate media. Again, the easy targets were selected:

'So the public is swayed by media agendas. Rupert Murdoch, a man who believes what he reads in his own newspapers, from the Wall St Journal to The Australian, has been tweeting against climate change and in favour of fracking. Small wonder that Australia's new prime minister, Tony Abbott, who once dismissed evidence of climate change as "absolute crap", has on Day Two of his premiership, disbanded a key climate change agency.'

The agency has since been resurrected thanks to enormous public support in Australia, horrified at Abbot's actions. Murdoch and his News International empire do indeed represent a disaster for fair and balanced news, as the liberal press have no trouble pointing out. But looking closer to home is simply taboo.

Vallely then continues with some critical comments of the BBC, albeit limited to what should be obvious:

'Meanwhile here BBC news outlets – normally a voice of sanity on science – are paralysed by their adversarial paradigm of giving "equal space" to both sides. Faced with the prospect of having to give climate change deniers the same airtime as the 97 per cent scientific consensus the BBC has largely descended into silence on the issue. The BBC has a bigger responsibility than balance here.'

No hint here from Vallely that the BBC is cosily nestled within the establishment, routinely broadcasting news that is heavily biased towards protecting western state and corporate interests. Moreover, despite Vallely's professed public ethics and media credentials, there is apparently no problem with the oligarch-owned Independent newspapers, part of a much larger business and financial empire that includes banking, fossil fuel and 'defence' interests.

Perhaps we need to turn to a funny and smart comedian like Russell Brand to spell things out, as he did after addressing the GQ Men of the Year awards ceremony recently:

'We witness that there is a relationship between government, media and industry that is evident even at this most spurious and superficial level. These three institutions support one another. We know that however cool a media outlet may purport to be, their primary loyalty is to their corporate backers. We know also that you cannot criticise the corporate backers openly without censorship and subsequent manipulation of this information.'

Yes, this wonderfully astute article did appear in the Guardian. But, once again, the Guardian itself was seemingly exempt from open criticism. This might not matter much except that when it happens over and over again, across even the 'best' media, then the narrow confines of 'the climate debate' are further skewed away from what needs to be understood, and what needs to be done. The consequences for human society and planetary ecosystems in an era of impending climate chaos are awesome indeed.