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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 10th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


This is a SustainabiliTank.info original and it was inspired by our watching his press conference at the side of his guest – the Prime Minister of Japan – H.E. Shinzo Abe.

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Mr. Abe seemingly knew well what happened to even a greater ally of the US – the Prime Minister of Australia, so it was evident he was well prepared for meeting his host whom he met already once before by visiting at the Trump Towers in New York – at a time Trump was not yet sitting President. Mr. Abe seemed worried that the new US President who talks of making “America Great Again” – has no interest in Asia and while nevertheless pulling at China’s toes. Japan does not want to be left to face China alone.

But as we wrote earlier today in “The Taming the Tramp” – Mr. Trump beat retreat from his earlier high talk about China-China. He did this in clear light by promising to the Chinese leader that he will not change the One China policy. Surely we do not know how this phone call went, but it is obvious that Mr. Xi Jinping made his demand for a public statement very clear and Trump had to comply – “do not look at what I say – look at what I do.”

Now with Mr. Abe, Trump was visible only against the Red Sun of the Japanese flag – but remained unseen against his golden backdrop.

Trump allowed only two questions from the media – from correspondents of The New York Post and The Fox Network – both owned by US Australian magnate Rupert Murdoch – a card holding right wing Republican. But something happened, Murdoch’s people, thinking of what Trump did to the Australian Prime Minister, so they insisted to know about the US backing out from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). When the first question was not answered, the second reporter insisted even stronger and forced an answer. Trump thought that was it and wanted to end he Press Conference. But Prime Minister Abe, though smaller in stature, but with black hair – quite visible in front of those golden drapes, knew that he has the accepted right to pass two questions to Japanese reporters as well. Actually in friendlier environments the host varies the reporters called upon – but this Golden Room is not a friendly place and accepted manners were dismissed with the entry of the new occupants.

Worthwhile to mention here is the obviously trained diplomatic way Mr. Abe answered the essence of the four questions by not getting involved but rather saying that substantial matter will be taken up at the working lunch. We also assume he will try, like Mr. Xi, get in private agreements that will then be publicized at the appropriate time. China and Japan are not out to make “Deals” but as obvious – they want open guarantees that no shenanigan behavior will lead to an abrupt change in the Status Quo ante.

The issues he is putting on the table are Free Trade between Nations in the Pacific area – with State Governments not being involved in regulations, Rule of Law, the security of navigation in the East China Sea and the recognition of the large investments Japan made in US industry and the fact that Japan technology – like the Maglev fast trains – can yet increase that Japan-US cooperation. He also by the way thanked the US for 115 years ago having learned from the US about democracy. Quite subtle and diplomatic.

Trump said that the US being great again is good for Japan – that jobs will come by tax policyack to the US – like Ford and GM – and an announcement will be make soon about Intel He will achieve this by tax policy and financial incentives.

Following the Press Conference, the TV pundits unanimously showed their astonishment at an issue that was evolving in parallel to the Abe visit that is the involvement of the Trump White House Adviser to the President Michael Flynn who talked with the Russian Ambassador about reducing the US Sanctions against Russia – this while Trump was not yet President –
a clear illegality that was known seemingly also to the man who is now Vice President.

Have we reached already time to clean House? I must thus remind our readers that considering the Russian involvement in the elections we called the home of the Golden Rooms – The Red House in Washington DC. Will finally some ethics Congressional Committee start looking seriously into the backdrop of the Flynn Affair? Will finally someone be indicted.
People start demonstrating with the deadly slogan – “DO YOUR JOB.”

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 25th, 2016
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From IAEA Headquarters, The UN enclave in Vienna, Austria, February 23, 2016, a dramatized look at what are the true reasons behind disasters in energy technologies – nuclear energy plants, oil drilling platforms, and methane production.

The IAEA Conference of 22-26 February 2016 was titled: “International Conference on Human and Organizational Aspects of Assuring Nuclear Safety – Exploring 30 Years of Safety Culture.”

I was visiting the VIC (Vienna International Center) – the UN enclave – for a completely different reason – and havig had some free time I snooped around what was going on in the M Conference building thsat was occupied by a large IAEE meeting and I saw on a desk in the hallway upon three cards announcing SAFETY WORKSHOPS. One titled FUKUSHIMA which was clearly very appropriate to the subject matter of the conference and thus did not arise my interest – but it was very different with te other two cards. one was titled NIMROD and the other DEEPWATER.

NIMROD is about an in flight refueling accident that happened September 2, 2006 in the sky over Afghanistan, and DEEPWATER is about the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig operated by Transocean that on April 20, 2010, exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, near the Mississippi River Delta, United States, referred to as the BP Oil Spill.

Now this conference started to talk to me. In one of the papers I picked up I read: “WHAT IS SAFETY CULTURE?” and the explanation that followed – “In some circumstances when a severe event happens, analysis has indicated that the safety margins had been eroding stedily for years. This can result from people gradually accepting declining conditions in safe work practices, and ignoring the risks brought on by this decline that may have unnoticeably drifted towards prioritizing other concerns over safety. Risks might have been played down because ‘nothing has happened’ which can eventually lead to a severe event occurring.”

Seeing my interest, a gentleman at the desk started to talk to me. It turned out he was Tim Bannerman, the Director of the London based “akt – Learning & Development Specialists” company that dramatizes/ enacts events. “akt” has delivered conferences, training and workshops throughout the world. See www.aktproductions.co.uk/

On SAFETY they say: “We operate in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, construction, nuclear, road, rail, airports, distilleries, facilities management, shipping and local government. We use a range of behaviour-based and research-based techniques, with a focus on understanding the psychology of at risk behaviours. All our plays and workshops focus on behaviour and consider the impact of human factors on safety.”

To me it became immediately clear that in its self-defence the nuclear energy industry will try to show that great risks are also part of the fossil fuel industries – so here we have also a demonstration of extreme events that are not connected to nuclear reactors. I said to Mr. Bannerman that I am no friend of either the oil industry nor the nuclear power industry, and he asked me – why do you not come to our presentation late in the day – and I am glad I did.

The event I attended was about the DEEPWATER case. The dramatization made it clear that Transocean, the company responsible in the operation of the BP operation in te Gulf of Mexico was involved just four months earlier in a near miss on a rig operated by them in the North Sea, and seemingly nothing was learned by them from that case leading to what the US authorities described later as a reckless disregard for safety.

The IAEA event can best be described as a safety workshop and in the room were many psychologists and behavioral scientists. The dramatization was there to show the human elements this in time decreasing safety vigilance and there was no way not to see that this is a company culture driven evolution. Eventually – if an accident can happen – it eventually will happen. The fact it did not happen yet just increases its chances to happen eventually because of a company driven evolving lack of vigilance. Sure – this does not include fail-safe evoluations like the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere. That is a totally different issue that weighs on the oil industry. Sure, the IAEA that employs an engineering trained psychologist, Dr. Helen Rycraft, is making aware reactor operators of this danger in laxness of safety vigilance.
That is clearly one of the main responsibilities of this international organization, and pointing out that this industry is not the only devil in energy is quite appropriate. When I was asked as part of the Q&A segment of this workshop what I learned from the dramatization – I did not hesitate saying that te way out is to leave both industries – oil and nuclear – and look instead for safer technologies – the likes of soar a nd wind. Also, I mentioned my observation of what happens in the check-out lines at the Vienna Hoffer discounter super-markets. There the company pushes the checkout girls to work fast by actually monitoring the number of openings of the cash-registers – and surely – the check-out people make mistakes.
I have to read the slip as I find many times wrong charges. Clearly – also in the Fukushima and Deepwater cases – when analyzed the true blame is with the management that is not present on location.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 27th, 2015
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

70 years after Hiroshima & Nagasaki, Are we smarter? Are we more human? That was the question!
As reported by Ms.Irith Jawetz, July 27, 2015.

An unusual event took place on Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at the OIIP (Austrian Institute for International Politics. In spite of the unusual high temperatures and a very feeble AC, the room was almost full. I will try to present the essence of that event.

The panel included:

– Ms.Judith Brandner, Since 1984 radio journalist and radio producer for Ö1, but also on DRS2, D-RADIO and SWR2.
– Ambassador Alexander Kmentt; Austria’s Director for Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament. Ambassador Kmentt has received the highest number of votes in an online poll to determine the “2014 Arms Control Person of the Year.” Nine other worthy candidates were nominated by the staff of the Arms Control Association for their significant achievements and contributions to reducing the threats posed by the world’s most dangerous weapons in the past year.

Ambassador Kmentt, who started his career at the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs in 1994 and has been a leading disarmament diplomat for many years, was recognized for organizing the third International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, Dec. 8-9, 2014 in Vienna, which drew delegations representing 158 states, the United Nations, and civil society.

– Prof. Heinz Gärtner OIIP, Professor at the University of Vienna, His research priorities include international and European security; US foreign and security policy; Theories of international politics; Developments in world politics; Arms control.

– Hakan Akbulut, Research Assistant at OIIP, Areas of Research: Nuclear proliferation,Turkish foreign and security policy .

The moderator was Fabio Polly, who has been with the Austrian Radio ORF for more than 30 years. He was head of the ORF young journalists training in 1996. Since then, in the radio’s external policy, with temporary interruptions as moderator of various information programs (among others Ö1-journals).

He spent a total of four years as a correspondent in Germany and in the US. Focus of Reporting: international security, disarmament, nuclear weapons and the Middle East; Travel to Afghanistan (Kabul) to Iraq (Baghdad), to South Africa (Johannesburg).

The main concern of all the panelists was that 70 years after the Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the problem of nuclear weapons has not been solved. Even the reasons for that terrible event have not been completely clear until now, and may never be fully known. Those two cities were totally destroyed, ten thousands of people killed, and the aftermath was immense. Those events emphasized how dangerous those weapons are.

In the arsenal of 9 countries there are now approximately 16,300 nuclear war-heads. Those weapons are part of a deterrent policy, which was developed during the Cold War. The objection to a notion of a world without nuclear power is strong, however there is a second notion now, which stems from a humanitarian point of view that maybe the world is better off without those weapons.

Ms. Brandner talked about her personal experience visiting universities in Japan and interviewing people who have relatives who still remember the Hiroshima & Nagasaki events and still have psychological scars from that day. One student talked about her Grandfather who lived through this nightmare and for years after could not talk about it. He then came to be interviewed, opened up and talked for two hours non stops about the horrors of that day. He spoke about the slow deaths of the people, the stifling heat and the stench, the burning corpses lying on the streets for days. The Grandfather lived to be 88 years old but carried this trauma with him all his life.

One of the topics of the debate was the notion that nuclear weapons are a deterrent. Does it really work? Is it really a deterrent? Can one rely on the fact that the leaders of those countries who possess those weapons will really only refer to them as a deterrent factor and not use them?

Ambassador Kmentt stressed the fact that human error can be the most dangerous factor in having nuclear weapons. He compared it to a pilot in a plane who, if he makes a mistake and pushes the wrong button, the plane goes down and all passengers and crew will die. If a wrong button is pushed or any button is pushed for some reason on a nuclear weapon the consequences are unimaginable. The system has too many risks.

Prof. Gärtner believes a deterrent is only effective if it is believable by both sides that the weapons would be used.
He gave a bit of an historical view on Hiroshima & Nagasaki and said that the United States always contained that it was needed to end the war. Too many U.S. soldiers have died in World War II and it looked as if the Japanese were not ready to surrender. The questions remains, would they have surrendered had they known of the existence of the nuclear bomb? That’s where the deterrent part comes in. Another version for the necessity of ending the war this way was the fear of the U.S. that Russia would march into Japan and take over. Was that reason enough to use the Atom bomb?

Touching on the Iran deal which was signed in Vienna only a few days earlier the speakers agreed that Iran should be given a chance to prove itself worthy of the confidence that the Allies have put into that deal. The Iran deal will define what is for peace and what is for war. On a questions from the audience how can one be certain that technically the weapons are not to be used for war, the answer was that one cannot be 100% sure of it, but one has to trust the Iranians to some extent.

I would like to elaborate a bit on one aspect which was mentioned a few times during the conversation. It was the fact that nine nations — the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea — possess approximately 16,300 nuclear weapons. in total. Under the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START), Russia and the United States have reduced their inventories but still account for more than 93% of all operational nuclear warheads. Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970. On 11 May 1995, the Treaty was extended indefinitely. More countries have adhered to the NPT than any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement, a testament to the Treaty’s significance.

A total of 191 states have joined the Treaty, though North Korea, which acceded to the NPT in 1985 but never came into compliance, announced its withdrawal in 2003. Four UN member states have never joined the NPT: India, Israel, Pakistan and South Sudan.

In contrast to those countries, New Zealand is one small country which in 1984 barred nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships from using New Zealand ports or entering New Zealand waters. Under the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act of 1987, territorial sea, land and airspace of New Zealand became nuclear-free zones. This has since remained a part of New Zealand’s foreign policy.

The debate went on for a long time with no clear answer to the topic question: 70 years after: Are we smarter, are we more human? Nuclear weapons are basically only safe if used as a deterrent, but they are extremely dangerous if actually used.

Being a deterrent when two opposing sides are both nuclear armed – the certainty of a second strike becomes in effect an insurance of peace. That was the concept of M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) that lowered animosity between the two sides in the Cold War. The destruction caused in the two events in Japan – big as they were are nevertheless small compared to what, relatively, the new arms could do. The question is indeed, watching today’s ideological enemies, are they mellow enough to take the M.A.D. idea seriously? Will it always be a Head of State that has the nuclear button, or could it be that a device ends up with a group of insurgents?

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 13th, 2015
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


What is the economic potential of the manufacture of transport fuels from CO2?

from: Dimitriou, Ioanna –  dimitri1 at aston.ac.uk

July 12, 2015

to Energy

Dear all,

Our study, entitled “Carbon dioxide utilisation for production of transport fuels: process and economic analysis” has been recently published by the prestigious Energy and Environmental Science journal. The study aims to support policy makers and businesses in their decision-making by establishing whether the production of liquid transport fuels from CO2 using current technology is economically feasible and identifying the modifications required to improve the economic competitiveness of Carbon Dioxide Utilisation (CDU).

The article is open-access and available through the following link: pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlela…

Abstract:

Utilising CO2 as a feedstock for chemicals and fuels could help mitigate climate change and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. For this reason, there is an increasing world-wide interest in carbon capture and utilisation (CCU). As part of a broader project to identify key technical advances required for sustainable CCU, this work considers different process designs, each at a high level of technology readiness and suitable for large-scale conversion of CO2 into liquid hydrocarbon fuels, using biogas from sewage sludge as a source of CO2. The main objective of the paper is to estimate fuel production yields and costs of different CCU process configurations in order to establish whether the production of hydrocarbon fuels from commercially proven technologies is economically viable. Four process concepts are examined, developed and modelled using the process simulation software Aspen Plus? to determine raw materials, energy and utility requirements. Three design cases are based on typical biogas applications: (1) biogas upgrading using a monoethanolamine (MEA) unit to remove CO2, (2) combustion of raw biogas in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant and (3) combustion of upgraded biogas in a CHP plant which represents a combination of the first two options. The fourth case examines a post-combustion CO2 capture and utilisation system where the CO2 removal unit is placed right after the CHP plant to remove the excess air with the aim of improving the energy efficiency of the plant. All four concepts include conversion of CO2 to CO via a reverse water-gas-shift reaction process and subsequent conversion to diesel and gasoline via Fischer–Tropsch synthesis. The studied CCU options are compared in terms of liquid fuel yields, energy requirements, energy efficiencies, capital investment and production costs. The overall plant energy efficiency and production costs range from 12–17% and £15.8–29.6 per litre of liquid fuels, respectively. A sensitivity analysis is also carried out to examine the effect of different economic and technical parameters on the production costs of liquid fuels. The results indicate that the production of liquid hydrocarbon fuels using the existing CCU technology is not economically feasible mainly because of the low CO2 separation and conversion efficiencies as well as the high energy requirements. Therefore, future research in this area should aim at developing novel CCU technologies which should primarily focus on optimising the CO2 conversion rate and minimising the energy consumption of the plant.

Kind regards,

Ioanna Dimitriou

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Dr ??anna Dimitriou

Research Associate at Sustainable Energy Systems Engineering

University of Sheffield

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Room C67a, Sir Robert Hadfield Building, Sheffield, S1 3JD

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 7594

Email:  i.dimitriou at sheffield.ac.uk

4CU:  4cu.org.uk/

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 24th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


We ask above question in light of the Romanian Mission to the UN sponsored ASUA promoted UN event which we covered at large in our posting:

A laudable ECO-DRIVE training for petroleum fuel-saving of conventional motor-vehicles was presented at the UN in New York by the Japanese ASUA Inc., at a time the world is watching attempts at innovation that replace both – the conventional engines and the fuel. Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 20th, 2014  www.sustainabilitank.info/#34692

If this is the case, how will it impact the price of carbon in the EU and will emission savings outside the EU be allowed as carbon credits into this market or will it all be an internai EU market? These are points that we expect to be followed with interest by by the world-wide auto-motive industry.

We expect the EcoDrive caravan to make Brussels as their next target.

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EU set to allow car emissions into carbon trading market

Date: 24-Oct-14
Country: BELGIUM
Author: Barbara Lewis
The European Union is set to make it easier to bring road transport emissions into the carbon trading market, a move that critics say could empower carmakers to push back against more effective curbs on greenhouse gases.

As posted by PlanetArk // Reuters from Brussels, EU leaders will attempt to agree on energy policy for 2030 when they meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, including an EU-wide cut in greenhouse gas emissions of 40 percent compared with 1990 levels.

The EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), key to efforts to reduce emissions, has so far excluded road transport. It has focused on curbing pollution from heavy industry and the power sector by forcing more than 12,000 power plants, factories and airlines to surrender an allowance for every tonne of CO2 emitted under a gradually decreasing emission cap.

But a draft of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy package, seen by Reuters, says individual member states can include road transport in the EU ETS if they choose.

It also calls on the executive European Commission to “further develop instruments and measures for a comprehensive and technology neutral approach for the promotion of emissions reduction and energy efficiency in transport”.

The phrase “technology neutral” is often used by business to champion using the EU ETS to tackle emissions, rather than sector-specific targets.

Transport is Europe’s second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after the power sector, and is also the fastest-growing one.

Bringing cars into the ETS could reduce the costs the car industry faces in meeting existing regulation as well as tackling the oversupply on the carbon market which has pushed prices of carbon allowances down to around 6 euros ($7.64) per tonne from more than 30 euros six years ago.

But the impact on emissions would be negligible, analysts say. A study published this week by consultancy Cambridge Econometrics estimated that bringing road transport into the ETS would curb emissions by 1 percent by 2030 at current ETS prices.

It also found that to achieve a vehicle emissions goal of 60 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (g/km) by 2030 — the logical extension of existing car emissions targets — carbon prices would need to rise to over 200 euros per tonne, imposing huge costs on heavy industry.

Climate campaigners say heavy lobbying from business has already ensured a proposed emissions cut of 40 percent will not include a sub-target for transport, whereas the current set of 2020 targets includes a 6 percent cut in road fuel emissions compared with 1990.

Existing EU law also includes emissions standards to limit carbon dioxide pollution from cars, which extend to 2021 and have attracted stiff resistance, especially from the German luxury car sector, led by brands such as BMW and Daimler.

Several EU officials said there was no unanimity on bringing road transport into the ETS, so member states were likely to agree on asking the European Commission to look at ways to expand the carbon trading scheme.

But green campaigners say even the mention of flexibility in achieving targets could give carmakers more stick to persuade lawmakers to drop efforts for any further car specific standards, which they say have had a major impact on reducing vehicle fuel use and cutting pollution.

“The draft text makes the theoretical possibility of transport in the ETS move closer to reality,” said Greg Archer of environmental group T&E. “It is a dangerous precedent that will undermine reductions in transport emissions while damaging EU growth and jobs.”

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 20th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Friday, October 17, 2014, Under the Patronage of the Mission of Romania to the UN, and organized by the WAFUNIF Presidency at the UN – that acts in the name of the World Association of Former UN Interns and Fellows, at and of, the UN – The Japanese ASUA Inc. – the sponsors of the event – had obtained the opportunity to start their new World Campaign right here at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

Mr. Hiroji Maji established the ASUA Corporation in 1994, post-Rio I, in order to help the Japanese Auto Manufacturers Association in finding ways to decrease pollution and safety effects from running the motor-vehicles that tend to “despoil the beautiful earth.”

Mr. Maji says “We are committed to protecting the environment and to creating an accident-free society” and is set to achieve this by changing driving habits of those that use the commercially available conventional gasoline and diesel fueled motor vehicles. What he proposes is a driver education platform that besides saving fuel will also increase safety on the roads, saving lives as an extra-benefit from helping the environment.

ASUA has thus reacted with driver improvement activities whenever new questions about conventional transportation arose – cases like: The adoption of the Kyoto Protocol so corporate efforts called to address environmental issues when faced with important and challenging components of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The proposed answer being “Eco Drive” programs sponsored by the companies. It is reported that the “Eco Drive” program has not only been energy-saving but a tip of the hat to all ecology aspirations as well.

ASUA recognizes:
“With the rapid increase in petroleum consumption over the past 100 years, the average temperature of the Earth’s surface has increased by 0.3 – 0.6o degrees C. It is expected that, if this increase in global warming continues, the average temperature will rise by 2 – 4 degrees C over the next 100 years and that the sea level will consequently rise by 50 cm, causing serious problems for the inhabitants of lowland areas. The people of Tuvalu, a reef-fringed island nation in the South Pacific, suffered serious problems from February to April when a high spring tide produced waves which flooded over coastal areas and caused seawater to gush from the ground.
Any increase in global warming poses a crucial threat to low-lying countries because of the consequent risk that they may be submerged.
In addition, global warming has already caused many abnormal weather conditions and changes in the global ecosystem, requiring urgent, worldwide countermeasures.”

But its answer is:
“When you stop doing ‘jackrabbit starts’ and accelerating suddenly while driving, you consume less fuel. Making a conscious effort to adopt this sort of driving attitude is called the ‘Eco Drive’ way. According to the data obtained before and after it was adopted, ‘Eco Drive’ not only contributes to an improvement in fuel efficiency and environmental quality but also to a reduction in traffic accidents. Reducing traffic accidents is a societal challenge which companies that use automobiles must address and commit themselves to when implementing proactive preventive measures.”

And ASUA Inc. has worked out very well the data and teaches The correlation between improved fuel consumption and the ways the motor vehicle is being operated. An activity we admire but we were left amazed by the fact that at this time and age that was just all the company stands for.

The full day activity was advertised at the UN as: Special event on “The International Conference on Global Environment, Carbon Reduction, and Eco-Drive as Solution Towards Sustainability” – All are invited and further information at the Permanent Mission of Romania.

Before going further, for the sake of disclosure, I am compelled to mention:

(a) As the WAFUNIF Representative to the UN in Vienna, I take interest in all what goes on at WAFUNIF.
Further, my membership in WAFUNIF came about as I was a Special Fellow at UNITAR (The UN Institute for Training and Research) having been appointed by the UN Secretary-General, and working on the basis of $1/year with Under-Secretary-General Doo Kingue – manning the desk of Research with special interest in Renewable Energy.

(b) Beginning August 2014, WAFUNIF President Dr. Hassan told me that he would like to organize a one-day UN event – GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT – WHAT HAS TO BE DONE? and link this with the WAFUNIF role as Messengers of Peace. Furthermore, he checked with the UN and reserved space for October 17th. I said I would be delighted to help, added a parenthesis (Peace is a requirement for Ecology) and said that the timing is excellent as October 17th will be well after the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit and the UN General Assembly debates, so we could analyze what was achieved at the 2014 meetings and come up with what has yet to be done, while including as markers cases that show progress is possible.

I drafted a one-page “Concept note” that suggested two morning session with academia and Think-Tanks on “The Wrong That Was Done and Policies for Redress” chaired by people from outside the UN. This followed by a lunch with a noted speaker for which I contacted the appointments coordinator of Professor Jeffrey Sachs, of Columbia University Earth Institute, to ask about his availability. Then for the afternoon I envisioned two sessions with speakers from UN affiliates – UNEP’s Industry branch and the Global Compact. This as my belief was that in the September UN activities regarding Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and the Environment – it will become clear that it will be communities and industry that will be the obvious carriers on a path to achieve global redress to the present unsustainable trends.

Dr. Hassan agreed to my Concept note and on August 14th I took Dr. Hassan to the UNEP and Global Compact offices at the UN, and we discussed this proposal. We encountered a very positive reaction in both offices and only when Mr. Georg Kell, Executive Director of the Global Compact appointed one of his people to work with us, and I suggested that this person ought to be the moderator of an afternoon session that will include some of the best examples of Corporate Responsibility, I heard for the first time from Dr. Hassan that he already had a relationship with Japanese interests that will sponsor the event and provide speakers.
This obviously dampened spirits. Back at WAFUNIF I asked Dr. Hassan why he did not tell me that he actually had already committed himself to an outside group that wants to set up an event at the UN. That is when I learned that already since January he, Dr. Valdemar Prado, and Ms. Liliana Bucur were in discussion with the Japanese.

At that stage I was clearly upset of not having been told all facts, but did not pull out yet; this happened only when in parallel, in order to register WAFUNIF with the UNFCCC in order to secure our attendance at the 2015 Paris Summit, we were asked to submit a financial statement of our Not-For-Profit NGO, and it turned out I could not get one. I informed the Global Compact of my decision as well.


TO THE ESSENCE OF THE OCTOBER 17, 2014 PROGRAM AS IT UNFOLDED – let me say here immediately that I do congratulate the organizers for having pulled together a quite interesting event which intended to serve its backers but has somewhat isolated them from the trend of events as they are unfolding on the path of UN negotiations on SUSTAINABILITY.

It was obvious and no effort to hide it – this was a meeting of the Automobile Manufacturers – Japan and US.
But what denigrated from its effectiveness was that it depicted a rear-guard of the “is” and not enough of what could be a path to innovation – though – thanks to some outside speakers – reality emerged at times.

With Dr. Prado as Rapporteur, THE FIRST PANEL included the Vice President for Environment at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (US)- Ms. Julie Becker; the Director of the Canadian Automobile Association – Ian Jack, and the Climate Change person from the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association – Mr. Hirotsugu Mauyama.

THE SECOND PANEL – “Global Environment: Energy and Transportation” – had an excellent Moderator – Samuel Lee Hancock, President and Executive Director of Emerald-Planet, a worldwide environmental and economic development movement with headquarters and television production studios in Washington, D.C., but a burdened panel that included Dr. Timothy Weiskel – trained as an historian and social anthropologist he joined the Cambridge Climate Research Associates (CCRA) and consults schools, universities, corporations, municipalities, and national governments to create on-site and online training programs to help them envision the necessary transformations we must all now undertake to enable the human community to move to a post carbon-fueled world – he teaches Climate Change at Harvard Extension School; Dr. George A. Garland – an Independent Consultant who is treasurer of the UN Association of the USA and was involved in US missions to rural areas in developing countries; and a lady that replaced the Transportation Committee Chair of the New York City Council.

My following comments are not from the panel as such, but from interaction with two of the people on this panel.

Samuel Lee Hancock was in our evaluation the high point of the event – he remarked from the floor in one of the discussions that when he was invited for an activity to the State of Carinthia in Austria he learned that 1,000 old unused telephone booths were turned into electricity outlets on Carinthian roads – this so that electric vehicles can be recharged. Then in clear drama – he said that he remarked – “but there are no electric cars in Austria?” and he was rebuked by the Carinthian – yes, but we have tourists coming from Germany that use electric cars and would not come to us if we had no outlets for recharging their batteries!
Above comment was made when one of the speakers was rejecting the idea that there is an alternative to the diesel or gasoline engines used in transportation. Hancock, like a good diplomat simply made the point that there might be obvious ulterior reasons to get away from the present systems that are so dear to the sponsors of the meeting.

Timothy C. Weiksel was in our evaluation the low point of the event – he remarked from the floor the oil-industry dictum that there is more oil being used in the production of biofuels then it is being said they are capable of replacing. At the meeting nobody contradicted him, but I made it my business to talk to him at tea-time and tried to explain to him that it is only an issue if you insist on approaching it the wrong way. I tried to explain to him the case of using ethanol not as a fuel – but in small quantities as needed – as an octane boosting additive to gasoline. This resulting in displacement of extra-crude – both in the motor vehicle and at the refinery that can be allowed to market a first cut of gasoline of lower octane – to be corrected with the addition of the ethanol from biomass. He wanted to have no part of this – like a bad oil-man would have done 30 years ago.

Honestly, I honor a good car salesman that wants to sell his product, but cringe when an academic tries to bamboozle an audience with his position like shining medals. Many years ago I testified in a US Congressional hearing that the honorable gentleman, who was a professor emeritus at MIT that taught thermodynamics, who just testified that the lower BTU content of ethanol will cause us to use more gallons of ethanol then gasoline, ought to note that if he wants to fry an egg on his motor-vehicle engine he is right to measure this by calorimetry (BTUs), but if his intent is to run on that engine – he better measure the output in miles/gallon and will see that the difference in octane values will give better results then expected from BTU measurements.


After lunch – THE THIRD PANEL – titled EcoDrive AS A SOLUTION – was the obvious reason for the event.

Chaired by distinguished professor Yasuhiro Daisho, Dean Graduate School of of Environment and Energy Engineering, Director of Environmental Research Institute, Waseda University located in Shinjuku, Tokyo – introduced at the meeting as the School of Creative Engineering – it included – Keiji Endo, Director of Environment, Tokyo Trucking Association (TTA) and his American counterpart Glen P. Kedzie, Vice President for Energy and Environment, American Trucking Association (ATA).

Also on the panel: Mr. Brandon Schoettle, Project Manager, Sustainable Worldwide Transportation, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, and Yoshimori Suzuki, President Yamagata Branch of the Japan Automobile Dealers Association.
Yamagata is a one million people prefecture and later in the evening I was convinced it makes some of the best Saki in Japan.

Professor Daisho covers: Various types of engines’ performance, combustion, clarification of toxic exhaust element, energy saving, new combustion system, hybrid system, fuel battery system and new fuel. Experimental manufacturing and performance assessment of various types of new clean-energy cars. Suggestion for local traffic mobility system.

As the second private university to be founded in Japan, Waseda University is considered to be one of Japan’s most prestigious universities. The university holds a memorandum of agreement with Cambridge University, the University of Hong Kong, and Yale University among its 432 partnership institutions in 79 countries .

Japan is the fifth largest CO2 emitter in the world and the Tokyo area 80,000 trucks are part of the story.
In the US, ATA acknowledges for 2013 the use of 52.7 billion gallons diesel (72%) and 37.7 Billion gallons gasoline (28%).
Also we heard that the increase of the fuel cost in the US by 1 cent/gallon would increase the expense to the trucking industry at large by $350-375 million. This explains the importance of fuel saving when improving driving habits.

Mr. Schoettle told us that ExxonMobil and ARAMCO are members of his institute but we wonder if they pursue any interest in fuel saving? On the other hand we learned from the Yamagata source that the prefecture has no subways and that the population is the most aging in Japan – living in single homes and thus with highest number of cars/household in Japan, and highest CO2 footprint/person in Japan. Yamagata Prefecture is located in the southwest corner of T?hoku, on Honshu island facing the Sea of Japan.

A question from the floor was if there is any incentive from the government for more fuel efficient trucks and there was a positive answer from Japan only – not from the US. In the case of the US, because of a shortage of good young drivers, there is even no supervision of performance related to fuel saving. The average age for truckers is 53 and companies will not fire young drivers. So how can this training for better driving even make a dent in US trucks fuel consumption? According to ATA – thus clearly – there is really no eco-driving push in the US. ATA said that as an organization they are fuel neutral – diesel packs most energy. He sees no chance for electric trucks because of range. Bio-diesel is currently 3% of the fuel – this because of local laws. A hydrogen fueled truck costs $100,000 more – so no chance either. With all this – the conclusion is still that the only way to save fuel is eco-driving that could reduce consumption by 10%.

THE FOURTH PANEL was about ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY and was chaired by Kunihiko Shimada, President KS International Strategies Inc. (KSIS). KS stands for Kunihiko Shimada and they “provide strategic consulting and advisory services to corporations, other entities and individuals on environment strategies as well as environmentally-friendly management.” KS is involved in climate negotiations since 1997 (we assume since the Kyoto meeting) and since 2010 advised the Japan Ministry of Environment. He worked also for the UN and seemingly was instrumental in organizing the present event as he gave an end – summary before the Concluding Remarks from Mr. Hiroshi Maji – the President of ASUA Inc. – the sponsor.
This last panel included Mr. Hugues Van Honacker, Team Leader, European Commission’s Directorate of Mobility and Transport, and Dr. Ryutaro Yatsu, Adviser and Former Vice-Minister of the Environment, Government of Japan; William Milczarski, Urban Affairs and Planning, Hunter College, City University of New York.

Liliana Bucur was the Rapporteur for both these last two panels.

Van Honacker, from Germany, is part of the EU Directorate in charge of fuel alternatives and the needed infrastructure.

The oil bill for the EU is $1 billion/day – this is 94% for transportation. Air quality in cities is also a problem
How can one defend the European Automotive industry? What about the facts that 40% of the CO2 comes from road transport and 70% of other pollutants as well? So his major role was to develop an Alternative Fueled System of Transport. But the 28 States of the EU have different markets with different standards, approaches, etc. Even different plugs for electricity.

Natural Gas, biofuels, Biogas, CNG, electricity, H2 – all are considered. Biofuels fit best for airplanes. Some, like Germany and Austria already have CNG sysyems.

Professor Milczarski presented slides from a paper he co-authored with Peter Tuckel and asked if a Sustainable Transportation system can be of help at a local level, and came to the very logical conclusion that the problem is one of LAND USE POLICY.

HIS PRESENTATION WAS NOT ABOUT DRIVING DIFFERENTLY – BUT ABOUT DRIVING LESS.

His concept tackles city sprawl and he talks of households defined as a unit with 1-4 people living in a building and talks of walking and biking but wants stores and outlets to mingle with residence areas.

Ryutaro Yatso enlarged on the EcoDrive idea by talking Asia-Pacific regional conferences and the yearly event at Nagoya.
He pointed out at the importance of taking on the road the work done in Japan and see how this could help overseas – mentioning Vietnam as a first example.

It is at this panel, that from the audience Mr. Hancock made his comment about the Carinthian electricity refueling booths.

Following this fourth panel and an awards presentation interlude, our generous Japanese hosts treated us to music – a great instrumental trio from Japan led by Jiro Yoshida, a singer known in all of the Far East, and a surprise – a singing Romanian Ambassador H.E. Simona Mirela Miculescu – the UN host of the event. Then the Japanese made it possible for the participants to mingle in a nice environment across the street from the UN. The Japanese participants – and the audience was highly Japanese, were
open to discussion and those from motor-vehicle producing companies intent on hearing things that were not said in public.

Conference material is already available in part at  ecodrive-conference.com/login/in…

Sponsor Company Profile

Name ASUA,inc.
Company Address Headquarters
ASUA Building
1-11 Ougondouri, Nkamura-ku, Nagoya
Aichi 453-0804,Japan
Phone: 81-52-452-5588

Tokyo office
4F Sanshi-kaikan
1-9-4 Yuraku-cho,Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100?0006,Japan
Phone: 81-3-5220-3800

NY office
700 West 192nd Street, Suite 806
New York, NY 10040
Phone: 1-347-722-4252

Establishment Date July 15, 1994
President Hiroshi Maji
Number of employees 104

————————————————————–

LATE ADDITION:

The EU has managed, Friday, October 24th to agree on Carbon Emission Cuts:  www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-2…
but the EU has no clear emissions rule for transport.

With a suggestion that the EU will now enlarge on Carbon Trading business, there is the possibility to award credits for saving of all carbon emissions.

We thought that this can be then also a home for EECODEIVE with measures of saving becoming a bankable tool in a new effort of this carbon credits market. Our second posting is at: www.sustainabilitank.info/#34730

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 1st, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

LOOKING AT THE  FREEDOM HOUSE MAP OF PRESS FREEDOM 2014 – THE ONLY UN MEMBER STATES RATED AS ALLOWING FOR FREE PRESS ARE – JAPAN, TAIWAN, and ISRAEL   JUST THREE STATES.

RATED AS PARTIALLY FREE ARE – MONGOLIA, SOUTH KOREA, INDIA, BHUTAN, BANGLADESH, LEBANON, KUWAIT, HONG KONG (the PART OF CHINA that is governed with the help of an agreement with the UK), THE PHILIPPINES, INDONESIA, and EAST TIMOR. Any other country is just – “NOT FREE.”

Judging from the above mentioned map,  it is clear that FREEDOM OF THE PRESS is not the “Forte” of Asia, Africa, or Latin America – so why does misbehavior of South Korea excite us?  The answer is to be found in the fact that this is the home country of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who seemingly has allowed the UN as a whole to fall behind when it comes to allowing for  truly Free Access to a Free Press in its dealing with the media. That, rather then South Korea per se, is the true content of the following complaint in Matthew Lee’s reporting from the UN.

—————————————————————————————————————————

As S. Korea Cracks Down on Questioning of Park, Ban’s UN Notably Silent.

By Matthew Russell Lee – Reporting from inside the UN for Inner City Press.

UNITED NATIONS, August 31 — A recent and ongoing press freedom case in South Korea has echoed all the way to the UN in New York. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was a long-time South Korean diplomat before taking up his UN post. But he has been notably quiet about press freedom generally, and now strikingly, with regard to South Korea.

  The government in Seoul has summoned Sankei Shimbun’s Tatsuya Kato on possible charges of defaming President Park Geun-hye, and has blocked him from leaving South Korea in the interim.

  At issue is an article that Tatsuya Kato wrote and Sankei Shimbun published, citing the South Korean publication Chosun Ilbo, that during the sinking of the Sewol ferry in April, President Park was not seen for seven hours and may have been trysting with a recently divorced former aide.

  While understandably causing anger, such a report should not trigger travel bans or criminal charges.

  It is particularly troubling that while Tatsuya Kato of Japan’s Sankei has been targeted, the South Korean publication Chosun Ilbo from which he quoted is not being targeted. This disparate treatment of journalists, based on nationality or other factors, should not be tolerated.

 

{SO THE ISSUE IS NOT ONLY FREEDOM OF THE PRESS – BUT MISUSE OF CENSORSHIP FOR FOREIGN POLICY REASONS AND THE QUESTION HOW THIS IS TRANSFERRED TO THE UN PROPER?  THIS AS ADDED COMMENT BY SUSTAINABILITANK.INFO}

  As a comparison, when Afghanistan recently imposed a similar travel ban on a New York Times reporter, not only the US State Department but also many others spoke out.

  But when at the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman was twice — three times, actually — asked about South Korea’s treatment of Sankei Shimbun’s Tatsuya Kato, only platitudes emerged.

Continuing the trend on August 31, Ban Ki-moon’s comment on the coup in Lesotho did not mention that the military took over the television and radio stations there.

  The day’s New York Times recounted how South Korean artist Hong Sung-dam had his painting depicting Park Geun-hye and his view of her role in the sinking of the Sewol ferry censored by authorities in Gwangju.

  Some including the new Free UN Coalition for Access, an anti-censorship alliance established at the UN during and counter to Ban Ki-moon’s time in control, have noted a trend toward ignoring some attacks on the media. How far back does it go? What will happen in South Korea, and at the UN?

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 16th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

A Win-Win Solution for the Negotiations over Iran’s Nuclear Program – as reported by Irith Jawetz who participated at the UN in Vienna Compound July 15th Meeting .

 

The Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP) and Search for Common Ground  invited us to attend a panel discussion titled “A Win-Win Solution for the Negotiations over Iran’s Nuclear Program,” which was held on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 at 13:00 at the Vienna Center for Disarmament & Non Proliferation (VCDNP).

 
As P5+1 and Iran are meeting in Vienna at Foreign Ministers level to resolve the outstanding issues preventing a comprehensive agreement on Iran’s nuclear program before the 20 July deadline, a group of renown experts on the technical and political aspects of the negotiations have met at VCDNP to discuss and identify possible compromises.

 

Panelists: 
 
Dr. Frank von Hippel, Senior Research Physicist and Professor of Public and International Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security 
 
Mr. Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Coalition to reduce Nuclear Dangers, and the Director of Security Programs for Physicians for Social Responsibility.
 
Ambassador (ret.) William G. Miller, Senior Advisor for the US-Iran Program, Search for Common GroupHe is a Senior Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and the Middle East Institute. He is the co-Chairman of the Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America and a Director of The Andrei Sakharov Foundation. He has also been a senior consultant for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

This was a very timely event, as the Foreign Ministers of the P5+1 group of Nations – the U.S., U.K., France. Germany, China, and Russia – spent the weekend in Vienna  discussing follow ups to the interim agreement reached between them and Iran in advance of this July 20th deadline.


At the start of the Panel discussion, it was announced that at that very moment Secretary of State John Kerry is giving his Press Conference before flying back to Washington to report to President Obama about the negotiations. He is willing to come back next weekend for the July 20-th continuation of the discussions.

———–

Ambassador Miller was the first speaker, and he gave a rather optimistic view of the situation. His presentation had more of a political nature.  In his presentation he said that the basic principles of the negotiations is to assure that Iran has no nuclear weapons . Iran has the capability, brain, expertise and knowhow but has no strategic moral or ethical reason to develop nuclear weapons to be used as weapons of mass destruction.
It is a fact, though, that the Iranians insist on use of peaceful nuclear energy – to what extent it is peaceful and how can the rest of the world be sure that it will be peaceful, this is why the negotiations have to succeed. Ambassador Miller is hopeful that, after 35 years of the current regime in Iran, those negotiations will result in a positive answer.
Ambassador Miller commended all the participating teams, the Press and Academia. First he mentioned the top quality Iranian team at the negotiations, many of the participants he knows personally. They were able, motivated, and anxious to find a solution. The US team, led by Secretary Kerry did a  remarkably good job, as did the rest of the teams. He commended the Press who were persistent – fully covered the negotiations and were very professional – and academia who helped with background information.
—————

Mr. Daryl G.Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association talked about a solution for the Iranian Uranium-Enrichment Puzzle. In his presentation he stressed that “Solutions that prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, lower the risk of yet another major conflict in the region, and still provide Iran with the means to pursue a realistic, peaceful nuclear program are within reach” – he said.
Progress has already been achieved on several key issues – stregthening International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections and oversight at existing and undeclared sites.  …   Iran has agreed to modify its Arak heavy-water reactor to drastically cut its plutonium output, and a general framework has been developed to waive, and eventually lift, sanctions against Iran.   …  Nevertheless, the two sides have more work to do to bridge differences on the most difficult issue: limiting Iran’s uranium-enrichment capacity.As part of a comprehensive deal, Iran and the P5+1 have to agree on several steps to constrain Iran: limit uranium enrichment to levels of less than 5% – keep stocks of its enriched uranium near zero – and halt production-scale work at the smaller Fordow enrichment plant and convert it to research-only facility.

He shares Ambassador Miller’s hope and positive outlook that the negotiations will succeed. Anything less than success will be a catastrophe.

—————-
The last speaker was Dr. Frank von Hippel who is a Senior Research Physicist and Professor of Public and International Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security.Dr. von Hippel gave a very technical presentation about the Possible elements of a compromise on Iran’s Nuclear Program.

Potential sources of fissile material from Iran’s nuclear energy program are:

1. Plutonium presence in reactor fuel (current issue is Arak reactor)

2. Iran’s centrifuge enrichment complex.

There are two stages in rationalizing the Current situartion:

Stage I

Iran currently has installed 18,000 IR-1 centrifuges  – the compromise would be:

1) to retire IR-1  and replace it with already installed IR-2ms to support research-reactor LEU needs.

2) Continued transparency for Iran’s centrifuge production – possibly as a template for enhanced transparency for centrifuge production worldwide.

3) Continued minimization of stocks of low enriched UF6.

Stage 1 will provide time to cool down an inflamed situation and would provide Iran and the West an opportunity for a cooler assessment of the costs and benefits of diferent possible paths.

In stage II, negotiations might agree on a solution currently beyond reach and also lay a base for a new global regime for enrichment.

Stage II

 

National or Multi-National enrichment? A global Issue.

National – Every  state has the right to enrich fuel for power reactor fuel. However today only Brazil, China, Iran, Japan and Russia have completely independent national civilian enrichment programs.

Multinational – Urenco (Germany, Netherland, UK) . Today Urenco owns the only operating U.S,. civilian enrichment plant.

Building in Flexibility for Iran:

1. Iran should have access to nuclear reactor and fuel vendors worldwide – to ensure that it is getting a good price and reliable delivery.

2. Iran could build up stockpile of fabricated fuel for Bushehr. That would take care of Iran’s fuel security concerns and make it easier for Iran to postpone a large domestic enrichment capacity or depend on a multinational enrichment plant – perhape equiped with Iranian centrifuges in another country in the Middle East.

Dr. von Hippel COPLIMENTED his theory with  charts.

The consensus at the end of the discussion was that the negotiations seem to go well, and all panelists, as well as some members of the audience expressed their hope that they will indeed succeed. Ambassador Miller even went as far as to state that Iran at the moment is the most stable nation in the region, and we have to take advantage of it, make sure the negotiation succeed,  and bring Iran back to the International community.

In the news today it was reported that Secretary of State John Kerry was on his way to Washington to brief President Obama on the negotiations – rather then on a prior advertised new effort in the Israel-Palestine arena. He was hopeful, but also said there are still some points which need to be clarified.

==========================
Further last comment by SustainabiliTank editor – we add – taken from a Thom Friedman article about a different issue:
We accept that in the future the World true powers of today – The US, China, India, Russia, Japan and the EU – and we like to add Brazil as well – will have to meet their minds and harmonize what ought to be a global leadership for a safe future planet. Just ad hoc chaperoning specific issues will be proven to be not enough.

The way to find a solution to the issue of a nuclear Iran shows that in the globalized world of today there must be an international guiding force. But on this much more has to be written for the sake of Sustainability.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 29th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

PERIL

The New York Times,   April 29th, 2014

www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000002847044/nuclear-power8217s-promise-and-peril.html?emc=edit_th_20140429&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=47157637

More than three decades after the accident at Three Mile Island cast a shadow on the atomic dream, is America again ready to give nuclear energy a chance?

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 21st, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

From the New York based Council on Foreign Relations we learn that On Tuesday, April 22, 2014 –  President Obama will leave on his rescheduled trip to Asia, making stops in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines.

THE PRESIDENT WILL NOT GO TO CHINA which is significant – AND WILL BE IN JAPAN – APRIL 23-25th – Continuing from there to South Korea – Apr 25-26th; Malaysia: 26-28th; and the Philippines: Apr 28-29th.

Everyone knows that the main topic of discussion will be China – but it can be assumed as well that at this time the main issue in President Obama’s mind are The Ukraine. In effect except for South Korea there are on-going conflicts between the other three States on the list and China. Some of these conflicts stem from China’s attempt to gain islands and the waters around them that may have a potential for oil and gas resources. The South Korea – North Korea schism is just one additional problem, and the North Korea missiles pointed at South Korea and Japan are a perpetual threat.

Obama will try to reassure his hosts that the US will stand by them if China decides to perform a land take-over like Russia just  did in Crimea – This was probably what Secretary of the Military – former Senator Chuck Hagel – told his Chinese counterpart – Chung Wanquan in his recent trip to Beijing.

Senior CFR Fellow for Japan Studies Sheila Smith, and Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia Joshua Kurlantzick will discuss on a call-in April 21, 2014 the president’s priorities for his trip. But it is already known that the CFR considers this trip as badly timed, and at least in the case of Malaysia totally wrong.

Smith wrote on the CFR blog Asia Unbound that the visit to Japan will provide opportunities to address the perception that the Obama administration and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet are ill-suited to working together – and to allow the two leaders a chance to highlight the aspirations of the relationship rather than the litany of issues that need attention.

But Kurlantzick wrote on Asia Unbound that Obama will add to the Malaysian government’s promotion of itself as a successful and democratic nation, at a cost. “This approach to the Malaysia visit would mean downplaying – or simply not even discussing – serious regression in Malaysia’s domestic politics, including the recent sentencing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to five years in jail for sodomy, the highly flawed 2013 national elections that barely kept Prime Minister Najib tun Razak in office, and the increasingly shrill, anti-Chinese and anti-Indian rhetoric and legislation of the Najib government, hardly the kind of sentiments a supposed leader of political moderation should be espousing.”

Let me add to above from Vienna, the immediate reaction to the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370, as spoken up by aviation expert Nicky Lauda, was that Malaysia Government did not say all they knew about the incident – in effect their non-participation and the fact that for hours nothing was said about the plane’s disappearance, has caused loss of the most precious time for search. In short – the Malaysian government is no partner to the US for any serious negotiations.

Date: Monday, April 21, 2014

Call Time: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Dial-In Information:

U.S. Callers: 1-866-710-0179

International Callers: 1-334-323-7224

Password: ASIATRIP

Speakers:

Sheila Smith

Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Joshua Kurlantzick

Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia, Council on Foreign Relations; Author, Democracy in Retreat

Presider:

James M. Lindsay

Senior Vice President, Director of Studies, and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations

Audio and transcript of the call will be posted afterward.

Press Contact:

Tricia Miller Klapheke

Assistant Director, Global Communications and Media Relations

DCPressRSVP@cfr.org

202.509.8525

No objectionable comments were posted on the South Korea and Philippine legs of the trip.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 22nd, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From:  Policy & Corporate Programs The Korea Society
950 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
policy@koreasociety.org
212-759-7525

 David Lee, CEO of Shakr Media spoke at The Korea Society  on Korea and Startups.

David Lee is the founder & CEO of Shakr Media, the Seoul & SF-based startup that makes great video accessible to everyone. David has built an international development team in Seoul, while raising $2.75M in venture capital from both Korean & U.S. investors including NHN Investment and 500 Startups.
Under David’s leadership, Shakr has appeared as a presenter at Techcrunch Disrupt’s Startup Battlefield in Beijing, and has earned top honors at beLAUNCH 2013 in Seoul and beGLOBAL 2013 in Palo Alto.

Attention to South Korea becoming the next Global Hub for Tech Startups comes from Alan McGlade of Forbes Magazine:“American business has long led the way in high tech density or the proportion of businesses that engage in activities such as Internet software and services, hardware and semiconductors. The US is fertile ground for tech start-ups with access to capital and a culture that celebrates risk taking. Other countries have made their mark on the world stage, competing to be prominent tech and innovation hubs. Israel has been lauded as a start-up nation with several hundred companies getting funded by venture capital each year. A number of these companies are now being acquired by the likes of Apple, Facebook and Google. Finland and Sweden have attracted notice by bringing us Angry Birds and Spotify among others. But a new start-up powerhouse is on the horizon – South Korea.”

Bloomberg News recently published the Bloomberg Global Innovation Index and ranked South Korea first among all nations by comparing a group of indicators such as research & development capability, productivity, tech density and patent activity. South Korea’s ranking is not a surprise. In recent decades, South Korea has transformed into an economic heavyweight, having systematically applied substantial resources to research and development. As a result, South Korea has become the world leader in patent activity, and information and communication technology. The country has the highest broadband penetration in the world at 97 percent and is a leader in broadband speed with an average peak connection of close to 50 megabits per second.
Increasingly young technologists are fueling a fledgling start-up scene that is led by mobile game developers and social media innovators. This is complemented by entrepreneurs returning from overseas with an eye on conquering the globe.  These entrepreneurs are coming back with a sense of how to take on the US market, a greater willingness to assume risk, and an interest in building things that aren’t just made for Korea.  This has attracted the notice of American technology companies. Google has taken an active role in nurturing South Korean companies, introducing their favorites in the US to help them build a global profile. A company called Sparklabs was formed a little over a year ago with offices in Seoul and San Francisco to incubate Korean start-ups.
It is logical for South Korea to follow this path. The country is smaller than the state of New York, is not rich in oil or other natural resources, and has limited agriculture and manufacturing capacity. Korean’s must promote technology and innovation to be competitive as a nation since it is not enough to just contend on cost or scale. While the South Korean Chaebols, or large family-controlled corporate groups, focus on exporting and manufacturing, there is a clear recognition that South Korea needs to have a more diverse economy. Thus, the tides are shifting towards supporting smaller businesses and promoting entrepreneurship.
Many of the fundamentals are already in place. Just as Samsung transformed the consumer electronics business, Korean start-ups are poised to have an explosive impact on digital media and services.
To me the most interesting thing I heard from Mr. David Lee was his description of the recent evolution of the Korean psyche – it is really based on the fact that the country developed so much in the last 20 years and the fact that the young people have taken ownership of this success. He said that “they feel they own the story and are proud of it” and that this is the secret of their success. This success is here – in he Palo Alto and New York City High Tech region and in the fact that many of these young people go now back to Korea and are ready to be creative at home.
Sounded interesting – and led me to decide the following day to go and have lunch – under the New York Restaurant Week plan – at the newest high-quality Korean Restaurant in town – the Kristabelli (near Fifth Avenue  at 8 W. 36th Street). As expected – the place filled up with young Koreans.
The lower cost these two weeks was seemingly what brought in this clientele. They came not just because it was an eatery – but seemingly to enjoy their time there. It is al these little dishes and close attention to the food that stretched out my lunch for nearly two hours. The three course meal ($25)
Gujeolplan (an Emperor’s Assortment of nine different thinly sliced sauteed vegetables and beef served with blini stile small crepes, a rib eye cut small barbeque with lots of additives and some blini in a vinaigrette  liquid, and a terrific ice cream bread pudding for desert – and  paired with three containers of Korean wines ($15) – a rice wine infused with sweet potato vodka, a black raspberry wine and a plum flower wine. Quite interesting when one thinks that 20 years ago Korean immigrants  in New York were known only as vegetable marketeers and for finger-nail cosmetic stores.
Thinking of our website and the fact that from start I had Korea as one of the promising Nations on my homepage – I feel totally justified. Further, obviously, helped by the US originally, now I think that further advancement by Korea calls for a more independent policy by South Korea.
It is obvious that all powers – China, Japan, India, the US, Russia – have no interest in the reunification of Korea – but the Koreans themselves ought to keep Germany in mind and learn from the German experience that through re-unification they have a chance to grow. This is simply a question of an internal market that makes them independent of the vagaries of a global market. Forget any kind of revenge – just work hard to supply the unending needs of a backward North Korea like Germany did for East Germany. This will then bring Korea into the front line of the emerged powers and the real competitor with China in its region.
Further – looking up the maps – North Korea borders Manchuria of China – the Jilin and Liaoning Provinces and there is an Autonomous Prefecture for Koreans at the border – Yanbian – in the Jilin Province. The kind of place that might someday lead to conflict. Also, the islands in the Yellow Sea (Korea Bay and Bohai Sea) were divided amicably between North Korea and China in 1962 as per the ethnicity of the inhabitants. This again may eventually be disputed.

 

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 23rd, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

From the Federation of World Peace and Love
on the Eve of the Eastern New Year.
Subject: Invitation to Promote “An Era of Conscience”Jan. 20, 2014

Dear Mr. Pincas Jawetz,

We wish that 2014 will be filled with endless blessings, good health and safety.

A kind heart and good intentions generate the positive energies necessary to safeguard the world’s sustainable future. A good start is the key to great success. At the beginning of the New Year, you are cordially invited to speak good words, do good deeds, make conscience-inspired wishes and take part in the movement of “An Era of Conscience”. It is expected that the movement will spread messages of goodness and promote good deeds to benefit people around the world.

In this time of turbulence and uneasiness, unusual phenomenon frequently impacts our environment. It is difficult to tell true from false, good from bad and right from wrong. People’s hearts are surrounded by anxiety and uncertainty. We would like to evoke positive energies to stabilize the world through the movement of creating “An Era of Conscience.” Through collective efforts, the inner calling for kindness and goodness will be awakened and we will reconstruct a world with harmony and stability to enjoy the peace dividend of the era of conscience. Positive influences will forge connections between individuals, families, societies and nations to encompass the planet. In 2014, our efforts can restore inner peace and respect for human rights to make conscience prevail.

A good word of conscience and a practical action from you will bring hope and light to the earth. The adoption of conscience-driven values will help create a peaceful new world. You are cordially invited to share your wish or a practical experience with us about “An Era of Conscience” through words (Send to FOWPAL mail box:info@fowpal.org), a 3-minute video or audio recording, or other presentable means such as comics or paintings. (video and audio files can be uploaded at FOWPAL website: www.fowpal.org, in “An Era of Conscience”).

Your participation in this movement is highly appreciated. We will start the movement of “An Era of Conscience” globally on February 16, 2014. Your thoughts will be shared with people from different nations through videos, media and the internet so that the world will be inspired by your visions and actions. The promotion and dissemination of this movement around the globe will quickly spread.

Your participation will surely encourage more people to follow suit. We also would like to invite you to promote this movement in your country. It is anticipated that the consolidated positive energies will shape a world of peace and happiness.

We look forward to your reply and wish you and your family a year of peace and health.

Yours sincerely

Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze
President of Federation of World Peace and Love
President of Tai Ji Men Qigong Academy
Honorary Vice-President and member of Advisory Board of AWC,
NGO in Consultative Status with ECOSOC and Associated with the UN DPI

 

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 14th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

The New York Times of today – My Old Osaka Home: Suntory of Japan to Buy Maker of Jim Beam.

 

In addition to Maker's Mark, Suntory is acquiring brands like Canadian Club whisky and Courvoisier cognac.           Keith Bedford/Reuters In addition to Maker’s Mark, Suntory is acquiring brands like Canadian Club whisky and Courvoisier cognac.

 

Few spirits are as American as bourbon. But the maker of some of whiskey’s most iconic brands, including Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, will soon belong to an acquisitive Japanese beverage maker.

 

In a deal announced on Monday to buy Beam Inc. for $13.6 billion, Suntory of Japan struck one of the biggest takeovers in the liquor business in years, transforming it into the third-largest distiller globally.

 

The acquisition may also signal the last mega-deal in the spirits industry for some time. Beam has long been considered the most attractive big target for consolidation. Rivals like Brown-Forman, the maker of Jack Daniel’s, are controlled by families, performing well on their own and have shown little interest in potential takeovers.

 

The giants of the business — Diageo of Britain and Pernod Ricard of France — face many constraints on their ability to grow by mergers. While the two companies had considered bidding for the American whiskey producer, neither ultimately moved ahead.

 

Beam instead was claimed by Suntory, a privately held concern whose beverage empire already encompasses Yamazaki Japanese whisky and Bowmore Scotch. If completed, the deal will add not only Jim Beam, but also pricier higher-end brands like Baker’s and Knob Creek bourbon, Laphroaig and Teacher’s Scotch and Courvoisier cognac.

 

The sale of Beam was a fate many analysts had predicted since its predecessor, Fortune Brands, announced plans to break itself up more than three years ago under pressure from the activist investor William A. Ackman. The conglomerate, which produced liquor, Titleist golf balls and Moen faucets, eventually sold its golf equipment business and spun out its home products division.

 

What was left was one of the country’s biggest producers of bourbon and the beneficiary of a resurging interest in American whiskey. From its roots to 1795, when a Kentuckian named Jacob Beam first sold corn whiskey, the distiller grew, becoming one of the country’s biggest native producers of spirits.

 

Now, it will be owned by Suntory, transferring yet another major American distiller to foreign hands, after years of acquisitions by Diageo and Pernod Ricard. The United States can still claim domestic ownership of big liquor makers, among them Brown-Forman and Buffalo Trace Distillery, but they are smaller.

 

The world’s biggest beer producers, including Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, are also multinational conglomerates. Domestic breweries, like Sam Adams, largely produce craft beers at a fraction of the volume of their huge rivals.

 

Founded 115 years ago, Suntory created Japan’s first distillery in 1923 using the principles of Scotch whisky production. But it has since grown into a sprawling conglomerate that spans fitness clubs, Subway restaurants, fresh flowers and golf ranges. Nobutada Saji, the company’s chairman and the grandson of its founder, is among his country’s richest men.

 

(In the United States the company is perhaps best known for the commercial that Bill Murray’s character recorded in the 2003 movie “Lost in Translation,” which featured the slogan: “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.”)

 

 

 

In recent years, Suntory has been expanding aggressively overseas to counteract a shrinking market at home in Japan, where the population is declining. Its subsidiary, Suntory Beverage & Food, controls the European drink company Orangina Schweppes, and last year bought the Lucozade and Ribena brands from GlaxoSmithKline for £1.35 billion ($2.1 billion).

 

Buying Beam will bring Suntory’s total annual revenue to $4.3 billion and bolster the Japanese company’s presence in the United States market.

 

“I believe this combination will create a spirits business with a product portfolio unmatched throughout the world and allow us to achieve further global growth,” Mr. Saji said in a statement.

 

Though it had begun weighing a deal for Beam in the second half of 2011, Suntory did not formally approach its American counterpart until around this past Thanksgiving, according to people briefed on the matter. By then, the Japanese drinks company had raised about 390 billion yen, or $3.8 billion, by partly listing its nonalcoholic beverages business on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

 

It had also secured a financing commitment from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, one of Japan’s biggest banks.

 

A number of factors helped pave the way for a quick deal. The two companies already have a business relationship: Suntory distributes Beam’s products in Japan, while the American company does the same for its partner in other Asian countries like Singapore.

 

And the companies have little overlap in their product lines, allaying fears about potential antitrust problems. Such concerns dimmed the likelihood of a bid from Diageo, whose broad portfolio of brands like Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Tanqueray would have probably left it vulnerable to challenges by government regulators. That company has largely pursued smaller deals, largely in emerging markets.

 

The lack of competition among the two companies’ products meant that Beam’s current management team, led by Matthew J. Shattock, could continue to lead the business.

 

By Sunday, Suntory and Beam had largely completed their talks, with the American company and its advisers toasting with a bourbon-Champagne cocktail, one of the people briefed on the matter said.

 

Suntory is paying a rich price for its expansion. It is offering Beam shareholders $83.50 a share in cash, a 25 percent premium to the American company’s closing stock price on Friday of $66.97. The deal values the bourbon maker at more than 20 times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the 12 months ended Sept. 30.

 

“It’s a good deal for Beam shareholders,” said John Faucher, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase. “Looking at the rapid growth we’ve seen in bourbon over the recent years, Beam is doing a good job seizing the moment, striking while the iron is hot.”

 

Shares in Beam leaped 24.6 percent on Monday to $83.42, only 8 cents below Suntory’s offer. That suggests investors are not counting on a rival bid to emerge.

 

Analysts said that they expected the new ranking of top distillers — Diageo, Pernod, Suntory and Brown-Forman — to be the status quo for some time, with little chance that one could absorb any of the others. Instead, the most attractive acquisition targets could be smaller privately held companies like the Campari Group, which owns Skyy Vodka and Wild Turkey, and Bacardi, which owns Dewar’s and Grey Goose.

 

Beyond that, there is a long tail of smaller distillery groups, like Buffalo Trace, maker of Eagle Rare bourbon and Pappy Van Winkle, which could be attractive targets for big groups looking for growth. But, given the nuances of the spirits market — scale does not always result in substantially higher profit margins — many of these distillers may be content to remain small and privately held.

 

“The landscape is getting relatively settled,” Mr. Faucher said. “The question is, At some point do these smaller family-owned companies feel the need to consolidate?”

 

Hiroko Tabuchi contributed reporting from Tokyo.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 23rd, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

BREAKING NEWS FROM ISRAEL:

Turkey relaxing stance on Israeli compensation for Gaza flotilla victims?

Deal would mean upgrading of diplomatic relations, exchange of ambassadors, and end to claims against Israeli military officers and soldiers.

==================================================

December 6, 2013 – The Nikkei Asian Review

Iran gets an early Christmas gift: Turkey.

YUZO WAKI, Nikkei columnist

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (left) and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif meet Nov. 27 in Tehran. © AP

 

TOKYO — Old rivals Turkey and Iran are drawing closer together as Ankara tries to regain lost influence in the Middle East.

Oil supplies have also waned in Turkey as the Syrian conflict has dragged on. Instability in Egypt, which saw Islamist President Mohamed Morsi deposed July 3, added to Turkey’s problems.

 Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Tehran Nov. 27 after an interim agreement on Iranian nuclear development was signed Nov. 24 in Geneva by Iran, the U.S. and other world powers. “Now is the time for cooperation,” Davutoglu said. “The dialogue between two regional powers such as Turkey and Iran, who share an historic relationship, will not only enable our region to gain stability, but also prevent the negative effects of conflicts.”

     Davutoglu and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels to reach a ceasefire before an international peace conference convenes late January in Geneva.

And now for something completely different

Teaming up with Assad’s ally Iran is an about-face for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He had called on Assad to step down and has supported the Syrian opposition. The shift has been in the works for a while. Zarif on Nov. 1 met Erdogan, and the two said they were ready to cooperate to bring peace to Syria.

Erdogan still believes that Assad should resign. But there is little possibility of change to the current Syria situation. The U.S. government of President Barack Obama gave up the idea of attacking Syrian government forces because of their use of chemical weapons. A diplomatic solution to the conflict is now being sought.

Syrian opposition forces have been influenced by al-Qaida, a terrorist organization. They are together trying to establish a “mini-Islamic state” in the region that straddles the Iraq and Syria borders.

Suppressing extremists and maintaining a Syrian national framework is a common strategic interest for the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.

Turkey has strengthened its political presence in the Middle East since the start of the “Arab Spring.” A series of unexpected events, however, such as the summer ouster of Morsi, have conspired against Ankara. Turkey risks becoming a loser in Middle Eastern diplomacy.

No problem

Another factor behind Turkey’s shift in its foreign policy is a domestic movement pushing for a return to “zero-problem diplomacy,” under which conflicts with neighboring countries are minimized. The policy was previously advocated by Erdogan, who since 2011 has tried to take a more active role in the domestic affairs of neighboring countries.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is Sunni. When events take on a more sectarian tone — as they did with the Syrian conflict — Turkey’s relations with the Shiite-led Iranian and Iraqi governments have soured.

Davutoglu visited a Shiite sanctuary and met with Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, when he went to Iraq. Turkey is also seeking to cooperate more with the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq and mend ties with the government in Baghdad. Relations with Iraq have soured since Turkey supported Sunni forces in in the country.

For Turkey, which relies on imports for energy, cooperation with neighboring oil producers such as Iran and Iraq is crucial. The country also welcomes international moves to ease sanctions on major trading partner Iran. The U.S. and Europe had imposed harsh sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear development program.

“Even if it were not possible to match the previous levels of (crude oil) imports (from Iran),” said Taner Yildiz, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. “I believe our purchases could go up to 130,000 to 140,000 barrels per day” from the current 105,000, he added.
The Turkish government also said that the Nov. 24 international agreement enabled banks to resume remittance and settlement with Iranian financial institutions.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on November 20th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

conomic Scene

 

Unavoidable Answer for the Problem of Climate Change.

 

Tokyo Electric Power, via Reuters

Workers removing fuel rods from one of the reactors at the Daiichi plant in Fukushima, Japan, site of a nuclear accident in 2011.

 

 

 

 

Japan’s announcement last week that it would not meet its promise to sharply reduce its carbon emissions met a chorus of disapproval from around the world.

 

Delegates at the international climate talks in Warsaw, which end Friday, lamented Japan’s move as a blow to worldwide efforts to slow global warming. In the Philippines, which is still collecting the dead from Typhoon Hayan, it served as yet another example of the indifference of the rich world to the plight of the world’s poorest nations on the front lines of climate change.

But Japan’s about-face on its climate promises — which followed the government’s decision to shut down its nuclear power generators after the meltdown at the Daiichi nuclear plant in Fukushima — is also an opportunity for a reality check in the debate over how to slow the accumulation of greenhouse gases warming the atmosphere.

It brings into sharp focus the most urgent challenge: How will the world replace fossil fuels? Can it be done fast enough, cheaply enough and on a sufficient scale without nuclear energy? For all the optimism about the prospects of wind, sun and tides to power our future, the evidence suggests the answer is no.

Scrambling to find an alternative fuel to generate some 30 percent of its power, Japan had no choice but to turn to coal and gas. A few years ago, it promised that in 2020 it would produce 25 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than in 1990; last week it said it would, instead, produce 3 percent more.

Japan is unlikely to be the only country to miss its targets. In response to the Fukushima disaster, Germany shut down eight nuclear reactors and said it would close the remaining nine by 2022.

Everybody is promising to fill the gap with renewables. So far, however, coal and natural gas have won out. CO2 emissions in Germany actually increased 1 percent last year, even as they declined in the United States and most of Western Europe.

Between 2010 and 2012, worldwide consumption of nuclear energy shrank 7 percent. Over the same period, the consumption of coal, the dirtiest fuel and the worst global warming offender, rose 4.5 percent. Data released on Tuesday by the Global Carbon Project confirmed that coal accounted for over half the growth in fossil fuel emissions in 2012.

With energy consumption expected to grow by more than half over the next 30 years, the odds seem low that the world can avoid catastrophic warming without carbon-free nuclear power.

Opponents of nuclear energy say the case for nuclear power underestimates its costs and unique risks, including the fact that no other energy source can produce the sudden devastation of a nuclear meltdown. And they say that nuclear proponents overstate the challenge that renewable energy faces in replacing fossil fuels.

But while investment in renewable sources is crucially important to meet new energy needs, nuclear power remains the cheapest and most readily scalable of the alternative energy sources. Difficult as it may be to reduce dependence on coal, nuclear power is probably the world’s best shot.

Take the Energy Information Agency’s estimate of the cost of generating power. The agency’s number-crunchers include everything from the initial investment to the cost of fuel and the expense to operate, maintain and decommission old plants. Its latest estimate, published earlier this year, suggests that power generated by a new-generation nuclear plant that entered service in 2018 would be $108.40 per megawatt-hour. (A megawatt-hour is enough to supply an hour’s worth of electricity to about 1,000 American homes.)

This is not cheap. Even if the government were to impose a carbon tax of $15 per metric ton of CO2, a coal-fired plant would generate power at $100.10 to $135.50 per MWh, depending on the technology. Plants using natural gas could produce electricity for as little as $65.60 per MWh, even after paying the carbon tax.

Still, nuclear power is likely to be cheaper than most power made with renewables. Land-based wind farms could generate power at a relatively low cost of $86.60 per MWh, but acceptable locations are growing increasingly scarce. Solar costs $144.30 per MWh, the agency estimates. A megawatt-hour of power fueled by an offshore wind farm costs a whopping $221.50.

Even these comparisons underestimate the challenges faced in developing wind and solar power on a large scale. They might be clean and plentiful sources, but they require expensive transmission lines from where the sun shines and the wind blows to where the power is needed. Moreover, the sun doesn’t shine at least half the time. The wind doesn’t always blow. And we don’t yet know how to store electricity generated on hot summer days to use on cold winter nights.

The sun has provided half of Germany’s power on some days. On others it has provided next to nothing. It’s not easy to build a power network, let alone an economy, on the basis of such an unreliable energy source.

Perhaps the most levelheaded estimate of the relative cost of alternative fuels comes from the British government, which earlier this year published the price it was prepared to guarantee power generators as an incentive to develop renewable sources.

The exercise underscored just how uncompetitive alternative sources of energy are, compared with coal and gas. It also revealed that nuclear power generated at a new plant in Somerset was expected to be significantly cheaper.

The British government offered to guarantee a price of £92.50 per MWh of power generated at the Somerset plant. For offshore wind, the guarantees ranged from £155 per MWh at plants starting next year to £135 per MWh for those starting in 2018.

What about the danger of nuclear power? What about the fish swimming in cesium-laced waters off the coast of Japan or the tens of thousands of evacuees fleeing radioactive fallout?

In 2007 The Lancet medical journal published a study comparing deaths and illnesses associated with different sources of electricity — both from environmental pollution and accidents. Nuclear energy, it found, was about the safest around. Nuclear energy was responsible for 0.003 accidental deaths per terawatt-hour generated. Coal-fired electricity accounted for 15 times as many.

“More than 10 years of operations would be needed before a single occupational death could be attributed to the plant” at a new French reactor, wrote the authors, Anil Markandya from the University of Bath and Paul Wilkinson from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Chernobyl, the worst nuclear accident in history, produced 50 additional deaths from cancer in 20 years, according to a study by 100 scientists from eight United Nations agencies. Of 800,000 people exposed to its radiation, a maximum of 4,000 may eventually die from cancer, according to the World Health Organization.

Any such deaths are tragic, but there are downsides to all energy sources. The strongest evidence that nuclear energy is much safer than the public believes comes, of all places, from Japan.

In 1945, the United States dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since then, 500 of the 100,000 or so survivors — 0.5 percent — have died prematurely because of radiation exposure. Six decades worth of analysis of this population suggests the risks from radiation are unexpectedly low.

The climate change scientist James Hansen, former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, argues that nuclear energy will save lives. In fact, it has prevented some 1.8 million air pollution-related deaths already.

The good news is that the sun and the wind are not the world’s only alternative to fossil fuels. There are risks associated with nuclear power, but it looks a lot better than the energy we’ve got.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 3rd, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


Electric Cars Are Doing Better Than Hybrids Did in Their First Three Years writes MIT Technology Review


The US leads in EV sales ahead of Japan, France, China and the UK.

What helps is the continuous decrease in battery costs.

Please go to the link to see that.

 www.innovationamerica.us/index.ph…

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 26th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Raanan Katzir , China experience Missions.

THE UPDATE:

2001-present Director, Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group, “SACOG”.
 www.sustainabilitank.info/2009/08…

2001-present Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture at Galilee College in Israel –  www.galilcol.ac.il/ )

2001- Present Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture at CINADCO (International Center for Agricultural Development and Cooperation), Israel,


IN CHINA:

2011 Guizhou Province, Guiyang City: Invited by the Guizhou Academy of
Agriculture Sciences to lecture Sustainable Agricultural topics on the various
institutes of the Academy.

2011 Beijing, Lecturing on Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)..
Lecturing on Dryland Farming Institute , Hebei Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Gansu Agriculture University, Lanzhou (GAU), conducting a one week course on
Sustainable Agriculture
2011 Dingxi, Gansu: Chinese Potato National Conference. Lecturing on Agro Bio
Diversity.
2011 Wuwei,Gansau: Lecturing on Gansu provincial desert control research institute.
Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering Research Inst.
(CARRERI) CAS. Conducting a one week international course on Sustainable
Agriculture and combating desertification.
2011 Dingxi, Gansu, Chinese Potato National Conference. Lecturing on Agro Bio
Diversity 2012
2012 Lanzhou University, Institute of Agro ecology. Conducted one week
Course to Ph.D. and M.Sc. students on sustainable agriculture on dry land Conditions
2012 Inner Mongolia Holingeer ( Huhhot), conducting lecturing and
consultancy on arid land restoration and conservation. NGO, The Nature
Conservancy (TNC), Inner Mongolia project.
2012 Jiangxi, Ganzou,Anyuan township. A “ MATAT-Israel” consultancy
mission on “ Establishment of Modern Cycled Agricultural Economy
System”, organized by Jiangxi Association for International Exchange of Personnel.
2013 Henan, Lecturing on Pingding University.2013 Gansu, a consultancy mission in Minqin.
2013 China, Ningbo, Zhejiang 2013 Symposium on Foreign Economy, Trade Technology and Talent.
2013 China, Taiyuan. 2013 Shanxi foreign experts Group Seminar.
2013 China, Fuzhou, China Cross-Straits Technology & Projects Fair.
2013 China, Fujian, Zhangzhou , Sino-Europe Agricultural Development Center.
Lecturing on Fujian Academy of agricultural Sciences, Fujian Agricultural.
Lecturing on Fujian Vocational College of Agriculture and Forestry University.
Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture. Awarded as an Honorary Professor.
Visiting Zhangzhou Jiu-Bao Biotechnology Incorporation and Zhangzhou Science & technology Bureau.
2013 Zhejiang , Visiting Zhuji, Shaoxing District.
2013 Shanxi, visiting for field study tour and project proposals, Yonghe and Ruicheng Districts.

—————————

Raanan Katzir — Sustainable Agriculture (Agro-ecology), professional topics he offers for courses, conferences and consultancies 2013:

A. Sustainable Agriculture general subject:

• Sustainable Agricultural, the general approach
• Sustainable Agriculture ,national and global aspects
• The Israeli experience of Sustainable Agriculture
• The agro environmental problems in the developing countries
• Bio diversity, food security and environmental conservation.
• Agro biodiversity
• The basic elements of food security
• Food security and sustainable agriculture
• World water resources and sustainable management
• Bio technologies and sustainable agriculture
• Precise Agriculture
• Ecological threat to open space areas.

B. Regional Agricultural Research and Development (R&D),
Subjects:

• Agricultural Extension Methods to disseminate knowledge and technology.
• Advanced agricultural research in Israel.
• From subsistence to advanced marketing agriculture in the developing countries.
• Planning of Agricultural Projects.
• Agricultural Regional R & D (Research and Development), Projects

C. Agricultural development in arid zones

• Combating desertification, the Israeli case story.
• Advance agriculture on arid land, the Israeli experience.
• Combating desertification, the global issue.
• The advantages of drip irrigation method
• Irrigation control
• Soil salinity and the use of saline water for irrigation
• Soil disinfection by Solarization
• Soil conservation, rain water harvesting and a forestation in arid land
• Developing water resources and irrigation methods to achieve advance agriculture in arid zones, the Israeli experience
• Soil Conservation method to avoid erosion and harvesting of rain water
• Carbon sequestration on range land in arid zone
• Heat stress in milking cow

D. Other agricultural professional topics

• Advanced agriculture in Israel
• Organic agriculture practical methods
• Frost Hazard Mitigation.
• Urban Agriculture
• Peri urban agriculture in Israel
• Ecological Impact Assessment (EIA), of agricultural and environmental Projects
• Agro and eco tourisms projects
• Simplified hydroponics
• Benefits of micro farming to grass root farmers
• Fuel from agricultural crops as renewable energy resources
• Advance agriculture in greenhouses
• Greenhouse climate control
• Climate Change and Agriculture
• World food prices crisis
• Mitigation of factors causing agricultural natural disasters.
• The Israeli case story of using and involved of micro organisms in agriculture
• Rangeland restoration and conservation
• Modernize and biblical agriculture in Israel

The course on Sustainable Agriculture is aimed mostly to graduate and PhD students and also university staff professors. The course is focusing on the sustainable management of the natural resources as soil, water, crops, animal husbandry, climate and human resources, in order to maintain sustainable nature and produce food and raw material to obtain food security. The course is dealing with practical case stories, mostly of the Israeli experience and others. Participants will be able to understand and also analyze the rural sustainable management, planning and conducting of rural developing projects.
Similar approach could be apply to conduct rural regional study tour as consultancies and producing documents on Ecological Impact Assessment (EIA), and project financial applications.
The above topics could be presented also to advance farmers.
The above topics fit participation on international conferences.

—————————

Tel Aviv, 20,05,2013

Raanan Katzir, CV Summary

At present: Director, SACOG, “Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group”
4 Efter St. Tel Aviv, 69362, ISRAEL.
Tel: (+972-3)-6991381.Celular: (+972-58)-727-976
Fax: (+972-3-) 6990152. E-mail:  rannan at zahav.net.il

Agronomist, M. Sc. Agr., graduate from The Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University Jerusalem. Forty years of working experience with the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture in the fields of agricultural extension, plant protection, national coordinator of agricultural research and extension, head of national plant quarantine office and director of international projects in developing countries within the framework of the Israeli Agency for International Cooperation (CINADCO, MASHAV).

Conducting post studies in France, South Africa and the US. I participated on tens of international conferences. I Published tenths of articles concerning my professional work.

I have fully workable management of English, Spanish, French and Hebrew as mother language. I have often participated on international conferences and conducted tens of lecturing and consulting missions in the developing countries of South America, Africa, Central Europe, China, India and Oceania.
In the last thirty years I specialized on Sustainable Agriculture, focusing on sustainable management of natural resources the like of soil, water, crops, animal husbandry, climate and human resource for the aim of agricultural production and food security. The basic approach is a holistic integrated management to conserve the natural resources for their future ability to generate food and avoid agro-ecological disturbances.

My activity covers open field and protected agriculture (greenhouses), urban and peri-urban agriculture.

I am a member of the Israeli Association of Engineers, the Israeli Societies of Entomology and Phytopathology and the International Society of Development (SID).

General Secretary of OISCA-Israel an NGO connected to a mother NGO in Japan, dealing with environmental education, reforestation and international developing activities.

Since retirement in 2001 from Israeli Government work,I became director of a Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group (SACOG), engaged in lecturing, consulting and participation on conferences in Israel and in other industrial or developing countries.

======================================================================

THE PREVIOUS POSTING INCLUDES OLDER INFORMATION AS WELL:

1993 Beijing, China. One week International Symposium organized by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) on: Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.

1996 Hangzhou, China.  Two-week seminar on water resource management for sustainable agriculture under semiarid conditions.

  1997    Kunming, Yunnan, China.  One-week survey on agricultural development 
               projects

 1999        Lanzhou, China.. International Conference,  on Desertification. 
                 The Institute for Desert Research.

 2001        China, Shandong Province, KenLi, Agricultural Survey and Consulting Mission to
                Enhance Production.

 2001       China, Gansu Province. Yonchang, Jinchang, a survey on Water Resources and
               Efficient Irrigation. Jiuquan, Combating Desertification and Desert Agriculture.
                 Lanzhou, Conducting two seminars on Sustainable Agriculture (Institute for Desert  
                Agriculture and the Cold
                and Arid Regions Environmental & Engineering Research Institute, Chinese        
                Academy of Science),

 2002     China, Urumuqi, ‘ Forum on Environment, Cultural Heritage and Economic Development in Xinjiang”

 2002    China, Beijing, CALLAS Co. Conference on Seed Production in China
2002      China, Balikun County, Hami. Consultancy on mitigation of salinity soils.

2002      China, Saltland Greening Inst. Of Landscaping Co, TEDA , Tianjin.
              Conducting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002      China, Nanjing, Hohai Univ. conducting course on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002       China, Nanjing, Institute of Soil Science (CAS), lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002     China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Conference on Desertification, . Conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002  China, Lanzhou, Arid Land Institute. Conducting a consulting mission in  Eastern Lanzhou Province  and lecturing  a course on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002    China, Tailai, Heilongjiang Province.  Conducting a consulting mission on rehabilitation  of the sandy soils of the Tailai County.

2003  China, Sichuan, Chengdu. Provincial, Ministry of Agriculture. Conducting a  course on  Sustainable Agriculture.

2003 China, Guangdong, Guangzhou. South China Agricultural University.  
         Conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.

2003  Hong Kong, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden Cooperation. Presenting a lecture on Organic Agriculture in Israel

2004 China, Gansu Province, Lanzhou . Conducting lectures on Sustainable
         Agriculture on the following institutes: Dry Land Agriculture Inst., Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou University, Normal University, Cold and Arid Regions,   Environmental and Engineering Research Inst.

2005 China, Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Agricultural Bureau, Horticultural  Department , consulting mission on a regional R&D Project.

2005  China , Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture  in the Guizhou Normal University.

2006 China, Beijing, Eight International Conferences on Development of Dry Land.

 2006   China, Guiyang city, Guizhou Normal University. Conducting a course on  Sustainable Agriculture to students and university staff members

2006  China, Shanghai, Jiao Tong University, lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture to   students and staff.

2006  China,  Ya’an,  A one week course on Sustainable agriculture to  graduate  students and   staff in Sichuan agricultural University

2006, China, Sichuan Tibetan High Plateau, Khanding , Bamey, Daofu. A study tour to   establish a Simplified Hydroponics and  Micro farming  project.

2006,  China,  Beijing, Geography and Natural Resource Inst. CAS, conducting  lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.

2006,  China, Beijing, China Agricultural University, presenting lecture on the  advance desert agriculture in Israel.

2006 , China,  Tianjin Agricultural University, conducting  lectures on Sustainable  Agriculture.

2006, China, Lanzhou, Gansu Agriculture University , five days course on
          Sustainable Agriculture.

2006,   China, Lanzhou, Dry Land Institute, GAAS, conducting lectures on  
            Sustainable  Agriculture.

2006, China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering  Research Inst. CAS, Presenting lecture on the  advance desert agriculture in Israel and drip irrigation

2007 China, Shanghai, The 9th Shanghai International Forum on Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Industry ( July 3-5)

2007     China, Gansu, Dingxi, one week course on developing water resources and  irrigation.

2007    China  , Inner Mongolia , Alaxa ( Alashan), one week consultancy and  lecturing on Combating Desertification

2007       China    Chengdu, Sichuan. Conducting a one week course on Sustainable Agriculture .  South West Universities for Nationalities.

2007     China, Shanghai, A consultancy on The Ecological Conservation of the Chongming Island , (Shanghai Academy of agricultural Science). 

2008    China, Lanzhou University, Gansu. One week course to students and staff on  Sustainable Agriculture

2008      China  SHIHEZI University , Xinjiang , Conducting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture and a field study on advance desert farming. 

2008 China  , Inner Mongolia , Alaxa ( Alashan), in cooperation with NGOs ( SEE,  OISCA, Heifer), activities of  consultancy and  lecturing on Combating Desertification.

2008    China,  Turpan, Xinjiang , in cooperation with Heifer-China , conducting consultancy and  lecturing on Combating Desertification.

2008     China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering  Research Inst. CAS, Presenting a lecture on Sustainable Agriculture and Biotechnologies Methods.  

 2009   China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering  Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS, Presenting a one week course on  Sustainable Agriculture.

2009     China, Dingxi, Presenting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture to experts of provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Water Authorities. 

2009    China, visiting Shapotou combating desertification research Center

2009      China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering  Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS. Conducting a one week international  course   on Sustainable Agriculture and combating desertification

2010   China , Conducting courses on Sustainable Agriculture and consultancy field visits on  Shanghai Jiao Tong University ( SJTU), and Sichuan Agricultural  University (SICAU).

2010  China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering   Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS, Conducting a one week international.

2010   China, Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Invited by the Guizhou Academy   of  Agriculture Sciences to lecture Sustainable Agricultural topics on the various  institutes of the Academy.
 
=============================================

A December 2010 CURRICULUM VITAE for MR. RAANAN KATZIR

Residence: 4 Efter St., Tel-Aviv, 69362, Israel
  Tel.: +972 3 6991381, Cell: +972 528 727976, Fax: +972 3 6990152
  E-mail:  rannan@zahav.net.il

Office:     “SACOG”, Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group.
                   (Address as residence)
Personal Information

Birth Date: December 26, 1935

Nationality: Israeli

Marital Status:  Married + 4 children (1961, 1965, 1970, 1976)

Languages:                          Speaking                    Reading                   Writing 
                   
               Hebrew                   very good               very good                 very good 
               English                    very good              very good                 good
               French                     good                       very good                 fair
               Spanish                    very good              very good                   fair
 Specialization:

Agricultural Ecology / Sustainable Agriculture
Ecological Impact Assessment (EIA )
Developing water resources
Advanced agricultural in arid land
Agricultural Regional Research and Development (R&D)
     Projects
Programming agricultural extension methods
         
Education:

1953-1956 B.Sc. in Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem,   the Faculty of Agriculture at Rehovot.

1958  M.Sc. in Agriculture,  Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Faculty of Agriculture at Rehovot, (Thesis:  The Identification of the retention of copper fungicides for the control of tomato late blight, Phytophthora infestants).
  

Employment Record:

2001-present               Director, Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group, “SACOG”.
                                       www.sustainabilitank.info/2009/08/sustainable-agriculture-raanan-katzir-from-the-greening-of-arid-and-water-short-old-palestine-and-israel-to-giving-a-helping-hand-to-big-china-israeli-consultants-can/
2001-present              Lecturing Sustainable Agriculture on Galilee College, Israel (www.galilcol.ac.il/ )
2001- Present             Lecturing Sustainable Agriculture on CINADCO (International Center for Agricultural Development and Cooperation), Israel, www.cinadco.moag.gov.il/cinadco/
1990 – 2001  Director of Projects & Technologies and Latin American Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (CINADCO).      www.cinadco.moag.gov.il/cinadco/ 
  
———————————————————————————————————   

1987-1990 Director of international courses and in-charge of liaison with scientific institutes, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Center for International Agricultural Development and Cooperation (CINADCO).

1977-1987 Head of Plant Quarantine Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Plant Protection Department.

1976-1977 Coordinator for professional  (research, extension), activities, Ministry of Agriculture, Programming and Budgeting Division, as well as Lecturer in Plant Pathology at the Tel-Aviv University, Faculty of Life Sciences, conducting laboratory experiments.

1975-1976 Head of the Division for the Assessment of Natural Damage, Insurance Fund for Natural Risks in Agriculture.

1971-1975 In charge of coordination of professional activities, Ministry of Agriculture, Programming and Budgeting Division.

1970-1971 In charge of professional activities, Ministry of Agriculture, Extension Service, and Plant Protection Division.

1968-1970                  Consultant to the Government of El Salvador, on behalf of the Division   for    International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, Israel and the Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (CINADCO), Ministry of Agriculture; in charge of the organization and implementation of a program on plant protection methods and techniques for pest control and extension activities.                    

1960-1968 Regional Extension Specialist in Plant Protection, Central Coast Area of Israel, Ministry of Agriculture, Extension Service; plant pest control; organizing courses and lectures for farmers on plant protection problems.

1959-1960 Commander of military agricultural training center; organizing and conducting agricultural courses for soldiers intending to establish agricultural settlements.

1958-1959 Responsible for the organization of agricultural courses at the military training center.

———————————————————————————————-
Overseas Studies and Study Tours:

1967   Five months of studies in the field of Plant Protection.  Diploma awarded by A.S.T.E.F.-Association for Technical Specialization, France.

1970  Three week Plant Protection Tour, organized by the University of California, Riverside, California.

1975 Two week study tour in Switzerland, organized by the Agricultural Crop Insurance Company, Zurich, Switzerland.

1979 Two month study tour in the U.S.A. (including Washington D.C., California, Florida, New York) on problems related to Plant Quarantine, under the auspices of U.S.D.A. and APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service).

1981 Two month study tour in the Republic of South Africa on quarantine problems, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of South Africa.

1984 Two week course on Storage Pests, EPPO, FAO, Montpellier, France. 

1999         Two week course on Forest Trees Dendrology. Amman, Jordan and Tel Aviv, Israel
 
————————————————————————————-

Participation in International Conferences:

1989 Bad-Durkheim, Federal Republic of Germany. One-week   conference on Integrated Pest Management in tropical and subtropical countries, organized by GTZ.

1992 Paris, France.  One-week seminar organized by the Inter-American
Development Bank on IDB-European NGO’s on ecological problems.

1993 Paris, France. One-week seminar organized by the Inter-American
Development Bank on Social Sector Programs and Social Sector Reforms.

1993 Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. One-week workshop organized by UNCTAD on commodity export policies in African countries in a process of structural adjustment: cotton, tea and horticultural products.

1993 Beijing, China. One week International Symposium organized by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) on: Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.

1994 Mexico City, Mexico. One week World Conference organized by the Society for International Development (SID) on: People’s Rights and Security-Sustainable Development Strategies for the 21st century.

1994 San Jose, Costa Rica.  One-week conference,  on Integrated Pest Management.

1996 San Jose, Costa Rica.  One-week conference,  on Agricultural Environmental issues.

1996         Santa  Cruz, Bolivia, One week conference on Indigenous People in Latin America.

1996 Netanya, Israel. One-week conference,  on Periurban Agriculture.

Geneva, Switzerland, UNCTAD,   One week working group on Development Policies in Resource-based economies.

1998      Gaza, Palestinian Authorities. One week work group on Peace Procedure and  Agricultural Development.

1999        Bangalore,  India. International Conference on MAN and NATURE,   Organized by OISCA , South India.
         
1999        Lanzhou, China.. International Conference , on Desertification. 
                 The Institute for Desert Research.

1999         Jerusalem, Israel, XIVth international Plant Protection Congress (IPPC)

2000       Berlin,Germany, International Symposium , Urban Agriculture and Horticulture

2001    Tokyo, Japan, “ Global Forum on Education for Sustainable future:  
       Promoting  Earth Ethics”. Organized by OISCA-International.

2001      Nitra, Slovakia ,  Symposium on “Agriculture for the quality of Human  Life”.  Organized by Animal Husbandry Research Institute, Nitra.

2002      Calicut, Kerala, India, Conference on “Biodiversity and Environment “ Organized by OISCA South India.

2002     China, Urumuqi, ‘ Forum on Environment, Cultural Heritage and Economic Development in Xinjiang”

2002    China, Beijing, CALLAS Co. Conference on Seed Production in China.

2003    Switzerland, Lausanne, the International Conference for Sustainable Development and Environmental Remediation. Swiss Environmental Solution for Emerging Countries (SESEC II).

 2003     Mexico, Chapala Jalisco.  International II Symposium on Sustainable  Communities in Mexico & USA.

2003     Slovakia, Nitra, International conference on Bread and Peace to All people.  Presenting paper on Suastainable Agricultural Regional Development.

2003     USA, Fort Myers, ECHO 10th Annual Agricultural Mission conference.

2004     Switzerland, Lausanne, the International Conference for Sustainable
             Development and Environmental Remediation. Swiss Environmental Solution  for Emerging Countries (SESEC III)
.
2004     Mexico, Mazamitla. Primer Congreso Internacional “ Pobreza: la Cara del Esclavo Moderno” ( Poverty, the face of modern slavery).

2004  Japan, Amamatsu,  representing Israel on OISCA International Board of  Directors meeting.

2005  Mexico, Mazamitla. Secundo  Congreso Internacional “ Pobreza: la Cara del Esclavo Moderno” ( Poverty, the face of modern slavery).

2005    Mexico, Chetumal,  X Congrso Nacional y IV Congrso Internacional de  Ciencias Ambientales.

2005  Japan, Gifu Perfecture,  representing Israel on OISCA International Board of  Directors meeting.

2005  Switzerland, Lausanne, the International Conference for Sustainable
             Development and Environmental Remediation. Swiss Environmental Solution for Emerging Countries (SESEC IV).

2006 China, Beijing, Eight International Conferences on Development of Dry Land.

2006   Mexico, Sayula, Jalisco, International Conference on Future without Poverty
           sistemsdif.jalisco.gob.mx/congreso2006

2006  Japan, Fukuoka City, representing Israel on OISCA International Board of
            Directors meeting.

2006,  Slovakia, Nitra , International conference on “Water for life, water as element,” presenting paper on Water resources and irrigation methods to achieve advance agriculture in arid land.

2006,  Mexico, Zacatecas, IV International Congres on ” Un futuro Sin Pobreza, Desarollo Sustentable con Calidad.”
 
2007 China, Shanghai, The 9th Shanghai International Forum on Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Industry ( July 3-5)

2007 Mexico, Universidad Autonoma Zacatecas ( UAZ), XII National Mexican 
         Congress  of Horticultural Sciences, Protected Organic Agriculture Conference.
         ( Aug.)

2007 Slovakia, . Nitra , International conference on “A forestation, presenting paper on Israeli experience on rain water harvesting and a forestation in arid land.

2008  Japan, Tokyo , representing Israel on OISCA International Board of
            Directors’ meeting.

2010  Slovakia, Nitra , International conference on “Information Technologies in Agriculture”, presenting paper on Agro Bio Technologies, the Israeli Experience.

2010  Japan, Toyota City, representing Israel on OISCA International Board of 2010 Switzerland, Lausanne – The International Conference for Sustainable Development and Environmental Remediation. Swiss Environmental Solution For Emerging Countries (SESEC IX).Presenting a lecture on Agro Biodiversity.

———————————————————————————-

Professional Lectures Presented as single lectures or on-the-spot Courses, Consultancies and Other professional activities. 

1973 Arequipa, Peru. Three week course, organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Peru, on:  agricultural extension methods.

1973 La Serena, Chile. Three week course organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Chile on: Agricultural Extension Methods.

1974 Huancayo, Ciudad Trujillo, Peru.  Two three-week courses organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Peru, on:  agricultural extension methods.

1975 Santa Cruz, Bolivia.  Two-week course organized by FAO on the efficient and safe use of pesticides in agriculture.

1975 Santiago de Verguas, Panama.  Two-week course organized by FAO on the efficient and safe use of pesticides with emphasis on aerial and terrestrial use.

1977 Santiago, Chile.  Two week course organized by the University of Chile, Faculty of Agronomy, Campus Antumapu, on the efficient and safe use of pesticides. 

1977 Santa Tecla, El Salvador. Two-week course organized by the FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture of El-Salvador.  Intensive training course,  for the professional staff on the safe and efficient use of pesticides for coffee cultivation and technology transfer to the farmers of small farm holdings.

1985 Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.  Two-week course organized by the FAO on:  the safe use and correct application of pesticides on small farm holdings.

1986 San Lorenzo, Paraguay.  Two-week course organized by the FAO on:  the safe use and correct application of pesticides on small farm holdings.

1988 Amatitlan, Guatemala.  Three-week course organized by the Ministry of Agriculture on: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Agricultural Extension.

1988 Lima, Peru.  Three-week course organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Crop Sanitation on: Integrated Pest Management with emphasis on Crop Quarantine.

1989 Katmandu, Nepal.  Two weeks workshop organized by FAO on the safe and efficient use of pesticides.

1989 Centeno, Trinidad and Tobago. Training course organized by FAO on the safe and efficient use of pesticides in the English speaking countries of the Caribbean countries and Surinam.

1990 Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. Two week training workshop organized by the FAO on the safe and efficient use of pesticides.

Raratonga, Cook Islands.  Two week training workshop organized by FAO on safe and efficient use of pesticides.
                                                   

1990       Apia, Western Samoa, Two-week training workshop organized by FAO on safe and efficient use of pesticides
1990 San Salvador, El Salvador.  Survey organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ministry of Agriculture of El Salvador on: Study for the establishment of a plant clinic.

1990       Osaka, Japan, OISCA Kansai Training Center, a short course on Agricultural Extension Method.

1991 Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  Survey organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ministry of Agriculture of Honduras on:  Study for the preparation of two projects:
 1) Plant clinic
 2) Improvement and management of tomatoes.

1991 Enugu, Nigeria.  Survey organized by the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) on:  The Development of a Training and Demonstration Farm.

1992 Ciudad Arce, El Salvador.  Three-week course organized by the Centro de Tecnologia (CEMA) on:  Agroecology with emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

1992 Enugu, Nigeria.  Two week course organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) on:  Agricultural Extension Methods.

1993 Quito, Ecuador.  Survey organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ecuadorian Institute for Agrarian Reforms (IERAC) on:  Study of Projects for Agricultural Development.

1993 Bogota, Colombia.  Survey organized by the Departamento Nacional de Planeacion de la Republica de Colombia and the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, on:  A Project Plan for the Development of Tropical Fruits in the Atlantico Region.

1993 Chillan, Chile.  Three-week course organized by the Faculty of Agriculture, Concepcion University on:  Integrated Pest Management and Agricultural Extension Methods.

1993 Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.  Three-week course organized by the Junta Agroempresarial Dominicana (JAD) on:  Integrated Pest Management and Agricultural Extension Methods.

1994 Zacapa, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.  Three-week course organized by OIRSA on:  Integrated Pest Management.

1994 Plovdiv, Bulgaria.  The Higher Institute of Agriculture.  Two-week seminar,  on Agroecology.

1994       Guacimo, Costa Rica, three week course, EARTH ( Escuela Agricola Regional Tropico Humedo), on  Sustainable Agriculture.

1995 Quito, Ecuador, ESPE, Escuela Politecnica del Ejesito.  Three-week seminar,  on water resources and uses for agriculture, including agroecological problems.

1995 Burgas Free University, Bulgaria.  Two-week seminar on, Agroecology.

1995 Chillan, Chile, Concepcion University, Faculty of Agriculture.  Two-week seminar, on Agroecology.

1996 Grecia, Costa Rica. Two week seminar on agriculture environmental issues.

1996 Lima, Peru.  One week survey on agricultural development projects , Fruit Production and Irrigation. Organized by MASHAV.

1996 Quito, Ecuador. One-week survey, on agricultural development projects, Field Crop and Irrigation. Organized by MASHAV

1996 Hanzhou, China.  Two-week seminar,  on water resource management for sustainable agriculture under semiarid conditions.

1997 Lublin, Poland.  Two-week seminar, on Agroecology.

1997 Hamakita, Japan. OISCA Org.  Three week seminar on Agroecology.

1997 Kunming, Yunnan, China.  One-week survey on agricultural development projects.

      Doylestown, Pennsylvania, USA. Delaware Valley College (DVC), Two-         weeks   seminar on Sustainable Agriculture.

Mexico, Oaxaca. One week MASHAV (Center for International Cooperation,  Min. of Foreign Affairs, Israel), survey mission on establishing an              Agricultural Training Center.
Guatemala ,  Guatemala City.  One week MASHAV mission on establishing  cooperation with The Central Agricultural School (ENCA ).
 El Salvador,  San Salvador.  4 days MASHAV mission, Evaluation a Project  on Diary Cattle.

 1997    Czech Republic, Prague. One-week seminar on Sustainable Agriculture.   Cooperation, MASHAV, Czech Rep., Min. of Agriculture.

1998  Ukraine, Kiev. One week MASHAV mission on establishing a project on Dairy Cattle. Cooperation MASHAV, Ukraine  Min. of Agriculture.

   Poland, Stara Pola.   One week MASHAV mission. Evaluation of a project    of  Dairy Cattle. Cooperation MASHAV , Poland Min. of Agriculture.

1998    Hungary, Budapest.   One- week MASHAV mission: Evaluation on an Irrigation Project. Cooperation between MASHAV and Hungary Min. of Agriculture.

1998    USA, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Delaware Valley College ( DVC ), Two week seminar on Sustainable Agriculture.

1998    St. Kitts, Nevis, 3 days seminar on Sustainable Agriculture.

1999      Nicaragua, Leon, Chinandega, Matagalpa. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Center for International Cooperation ( MASHAV ), a relief  survey mission,  following Hurricane Mitch damage.

1999      Costa Rica, San Jose, A study tour to determine characteristics of  a long term MASHAV project on Agricultural Marketing.

1999        El Salvador, San Salvador, An Evaluation on a MASHAV long-term project on Dairy  Cattle.

 1999     Jordan, Karak, conducting a regional project of establishing modern Sheep Dairy  and Milking Center
                .
 1999     Slovakia, Nitra, International Symposium on “Agricultural Towards the the 21st  Century”.

1999     Czech Republic, Prague, the Agricultural University. A course to graduate students on Sustainable Agriculture.

2000        Chile, Concepcion. Concepcion University & Fundacion Chile.  A study tour and Workshop on Arid Land Ecology and Reforestation. 

2001         Mauritius, St. Pierre. Agriculture Research/ Extension Unit (AREU), A course on  Sustainable agriculture.

2001       China, Shandong Province, KenLi, Agricultural Survey and Consulting Mission to   Enhance Production.

2001       Ecuador, La Peninsula de Santa Elena. An Agro- Ecological survey and Seminar on Sustainable Agriculture and Fruit Production. Organized by CeDeGe.
    
2001       China, Gansu Province. Yonchang, Jinchang, a survey on Water Resources and
               Efficient Irrigation. Jiuquan, Combating Desertification and Desert Agriculture.
                 Lanzhou, Conducting two seminars on Sustainable Agriculture (Institute for Desert  
                Agriculture and the Cold
                and Arid Regions Environmental & Engineering Research Institute, Chinese        
                Academy of Science),
            
2001       Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film, International Festival. Participating as a member
              of International  jury Committee.
              Committee.
2001      Japan, Tokyo, Conference on; “ Global Forum on Education for a    
               Sustainable Future:  Promoting Earth Ethic.
2002      Ecuador, Riobamba, conducting a university, “ Escuela Superior Politecnica
              de Chimborazo” (ESPOCH), course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2002      Mexico, Tehuacan, “The Center of Simplified Hydroponics”. Course on 
              Sustainable agriculture.
2002      China, Balikun County, Hami. Consultancy on mitigation of salinity soils.
2002      China, Saltland Greening Inst. Of Landscaping Co, TEDA , Tianjin.
              Conducting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.
2002      China, Nanjing, Hohai Univ. conducting course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2002       China,Nanjing, Institute of soil science (CAS), lectures on sustainable
             Agriculture.
2002     China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Environmental and Engineering Research
             Institute, Conference on Desertification, . Conducting a course on Sustainable
            Agriculture.

2002  China, Lanzhou, Arid Land Institute, Conducting a consulting mission in
           Eastren Lanzhou,  and conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002    China, Tailai, Heilongjiang Province.  Conducting a consulting mission on the
            rehabilitation of the sandy soils of the Tailai County.

2002  Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film, International Festival. Participating as a
               member of International  Jury Committee.

2003  Ecuador, Guayaquil, “ Universidad Agraria”, conducting a course on
          Sustainable Agriculrure .

2003   Mexico, Chapala, Jalisco, Consulting work on how to avoid Lake Chapala
            from drying up by introducing agricultural sustainable Methods like   
          Simplified  Hydroponics.

2003  Argentina, Universidad Nacional de Tukuman. Presented a lecture on: 
         Sustainable Agriculture in Israel.

2003  Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film, International Festival. Participating as a
               member of International  Jury Committee.
2003  China, Sichuan, Chengdu. Provincial, Ministry of Agriculture. Conducting a   
           course on  Sustainable Agriculture.
2003 China, Guangdong, Guangzhou. South China Agricultural University.  
         Conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2003  Hong Kong, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden Cooperation. Presenting a
          lecture on Organic Agriculture in Israel

2004  USA, Denton, University of North Texas (UNT). Conducting lectures 
          concerning Sustainable Agriculture.
2004  USA, Waco, Texas. World Hunger Relief Inc. (WHRI). Conducting lecture on
         Sustainable  Agriculture.
2004  Mexico, Colima , University of Colima, Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas y
         Agropecuarias, conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2004 Mexico, Jocotepec, Chapala ,Tehuacan Center of Simplified Hydroponics,
         conducting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.
2004  Mexico, Puebla, Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla
         ( UPAEP), conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2004 China, Gansu Province, Lanzhou . Conducting lectures on Sustainable
         Agriculture on the following institutes: Dry Land Agriculture Inst., Gansu
         Agricultural University, Lanzhou University, Normal University, Cold and Arid    
          Regions,  Environmental and Engineering Research Inst.
2004  Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film21, Inter national Festival. Participating as a
           member of International  Jury Committee.
2004   Japan, Amamatsu, conducting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture in OISCA
           College. 
2005 China, Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Agricultural Bureau, Horticultural
        Department , consulting mission on a regional R&D Project.
2005  China , Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture 
         in the Guizhou Normal University.  
2005 Poland,  Warsaw Agricultural University (SGGW). Skierniewice, Research 
          Institute of Pomology and floriculture. Katowice, Silesia University. 
        conducting lectures  on Sustainable Agriculture.
2005 Mexico,Tecoman,  Colima University, Course on: El Modelo Israeli en    
          Agricultura Sostenible. 
2005 Mexico, Tehuacan, Conducting a study and consulting mission on integrated
          sustainable project of incorporation of the urban and peri urban areas.  
2005   China, Gansu Province, lecturing Sustainable Agriculture on   Cold and Arid    
          Regions, Environmental and Engineering Research Inst. Consultancy mission 
           on dry land agriculture in the Dinxi area
2005 China, Zhejiang, Quzhou and Lishui areas. Consultancy mission on mountain 
         growing vegetables.
2005 China, Beijing, Institute of Geographic Sciences and natural Resources, CAS,
    Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture.
2005 Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film 22, International Festival. Participating as a
               member of International  Jury Committee
2005 China, Shanghai, Jiao Tong University, a single lecture on the global aspects
         of sustainable agriculture and food security.
2005  China, Chengdu , Sichuan , conducting a course on sustainable agriculture to
          experts of the provincial Ministry of agriculture.
2005 China , Guangzhou , Guangdong, South China Agricultural University
         ( SCAU), conducting a single lecture on the Israeli experience of Sustainable 
          Agriculture.

2005  China Guangzhou, Guangdong, Zongshan University, conducting a single  
         lecture on the Israeli experience of Sustainable Agriculture.
2005 China, Yanshan Guilin, Guangxi,  Institute of Botany (CAS). Conducting a    
 2006   China, Guiyang city, Guizhou Normal University. Conducting a course on
            Sustainable Agriculture to students and university staff members
2006  China, Shanghai, Jiao Tong University, lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture to 
          students and staff.
2006   China,  Ya’an,  A one week course on Sustainable Agriculture to  graduate 
             students and   staff in Sichuan Agricultural University
2006, China, Sichuan Tibetan High Plateau, Khanding , Bamey, Daofu. A study tour
          to   establish a Simplified Hydroponics and  Micro farming  project. Conducting
         with Heifer Int. China, Chengdu.
2006   Mexico , Lecturing and consulting on Sustainable Agriculture. Universidad
                Autonoma de Zacatecas.
2006    Mexico ,  DIF, Jalisco. Consulting on sustainable agriculture and combating
                  poverty. Mexico, Lecturing and consulting on Sustainable Agriculture, Universidad      De La Salle, Bajio Leon.

2006    Palau Lecturing and consulting on Sustainable Agriculture, Palau Community  College (PCC), Koror.

 2006,  Slovakia, Nitra, Agrofilm23, Inter national Festival. Participating as a
           member of International  Jury Committee
2006,  China,  Beijing, Geography and Natural Resource Inst. CAS, conducting
          lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.
2006,  China, Beijing, China Agricultural University, presenting lecture on the
          advance desert agriculture in Israel.
2006 , China,  Tianjin Agricultural University, conducting  lectures on Sustainable
           Agriculture.
2006, China , Lanzhou, Gansu Agriculture University , five days course on
          Sustainable Agriculture.
2006,   China, Lanzhou, Dry Land Institute, GAAS, conducting lectures on  
            Sustainable  Agriculture.
2006, China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering
           Research Inst. CAS, Presenting lecture on the  advance desert agriculture in
          Israel and drip irrigation
2006, Mexico, A regional rural Resears and Development ( R&D) proposed project.  
         A study tour in the State of Queretaro .

2006,   Mexico, Presented a lecture on  Toluca Rotary Club on ” Experiencia Israeli   
             on “Agricultura Sostentable”.
2006,  Mexico, Tehuacan, El Instituto Tecnologico de Tehuacan. Presented lecture on
          ” Experiencia Israeli on Agricultura Sostentable”
2006, Mexico, Universidad, Autonoma Zacatecas, Unidad Academica de Agronomia,
          Conducting a 3 days course on Sustainable Agriculture
2006, Mexico,  Universidad, Autonoma Zacatecas, Unidad Academica de Agronomia, Participating on a meeting day on  Analisis del Trabajo Desarollado ,  actividades a desarollar, esquema y formas del trabajo para lograr un programa rural regional de Investigacion y Desarollo.
2006, USA, Doylestown Pennsylvania, Delaware Valley College ( DVC ), Two weeks seminar on sustainable agriculture.

2007     China, Gansu, Dingxi, one week course on developing water resources and
              irrigation.
2007    China  , Inner Mongolia , Alaxa ( Alashan), one week consultancy and  
              lecturing on Combating Desertification
2007       China    Chengdu, Sichuan. Conducting a one week course on Sustainable 
             Agriculture .  South West Universities for Nationalities.  
2007     Germany, Gottingen University and Kassel University, conducting lectures     
              on  sustainable agriculture.
2007     China, Shanghai, A consultancy on The Ecological Conservation of the
         Chongming Island , (Shanghai Academy of agricultural Science).Mexico, Zacatecas, Universidad  Autonoma  Zacatecas (UAZ), Agricultural Faculty, conducting a 4 days course on Organic Agriculture
2007, Mexico,  Cholula, Tehuacan, lecturing on Organic agriculture
2007, Slovakia, Nitra, Agrofilm24, Inter national Festival. Participating
          as a member of International  Jury Committee
2007, Slovakia, Nitra, conducting a one week course to Ph.D. students of the Slovak
          Agricultural University, on Sustainable Agriculture.
2007,  China, Lanzhou University, Gansu. One week course to students and staff on Sustainable Agriculture.
China, Inner Mongolia , Alaxa ( Alashan), in cooperation with NGOs ( SEE,  OISCA, Heifer), activities of  consultancy and  lecturing on Combating Desertification.

2008    China,  Turpan, Xinjiang , in cooperation with Heifer-China , conducting
              consultancy and  lecturing on Combating Desertification.

2008     China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering
             Research Inst. CAS, Presenting a lecture on Sustainable Agriculture and
             Biotechnologies Methods.   
2008    China,  Sichuan Agriculture  University, field visits in Shuanliu, Pengzhou ,   
              Pixian,   Anxianand Renshou Counties in order to support professionally the May  
              earthquake victims.  Conducting Sustainable Agriculture Course in Ya’an
              campus to students and staff

2008      China  SHIHEZI University , Xinjiang , Conducting lectures on Sustainable
              Agriculture and a field study on advance desert farming. 
2008     Slovakia, Nitra, conducting a one week course on Sustainable Agriculture
             to Ph.D. students of the Slovak   Agricultural University.
2008     Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film, International Festival. Participating as a member
              of International  jury Committee.
              Committee.

2008   Japan, Tokyo Conducting Sustainable Agriculture lectures on Chiba  
University, Graduate School of Horticulture
2008   Mexico, Del Valle, Guanajuato. Conducting a course on Sustainable
           Agriculture  in  the Universidad Tecnologica del Suroeste de Guanajuato

 2009   China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering  Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS, Presenting a one week course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2009     China, Dingxi, Presenting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture to experts of
             provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Water Authorities. 
2009    China, visiting Shapotou combating desertification research Center
2009      China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering
             Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS. Conducting a one week international 
             course   on Sustainable Agriculture and combating desertification
2009     Slovakia, Nitra, conducting a one week course on Sustainable Agriculture
             to Ph.D. students of the Slovak   Agricultural University
2009    Slovakia, Nitra, AGROFILM 26, International Festival. Participating as a  
member  of International  jury Committee .
2009    India, Bangalore, Institute of Simplified Hydroponics. Conducting a two days 
 course on “Sustainable Agriculture, the Israeli Experience”.
Presenting a lecture on the National Institute on Advance Studies On “Climate Change and the Israeli Agriculture”
Visiting the “Palm Grove Nurseries” and “Gopalan Enterprises”.

2010  Japan, a professional mission To OISCA Int. Japan. Visiting and lecturing
Sustainable Agriculture on Fukuoka, Nishi Nippon Training Center, Shikoku OISCA TC, Toyota City, OISCA Chubu TC, Hamamatsu, OISCA College for Global cooperation, OISCA Int. Head Quarter, Tokyo.
Visiting Takamatsu, presented lecture on Sustainable Agriculture: The general approach and the Israeli experience, to students and staff on the Faculty of Agriculture of the Kagawa University.
Visiting Tsukuba, Presented a lecture on Sustainable management of water resources in Israel to researchers of National Institute for Rural Engineering (NIRE) and Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Science (JIRCAS).

2010 China , Conducting courses on Sustainable Agriculture and consultancy field
               visits on  Shanghai Jiao Tong University ( SJTU), and Sichuan Agricultural 
               University (SICAU).

2010, Panama, Chriqui, San Felix. Conveying a study tour on Ngobe Bugle Indian 
          community and Conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture in cooperation   
         with The Foundation Nuestra Senora del Camino.

2010  China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering
             Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS. Conducting a one week international 
             course   on Sustainable Agriculture and combating desertification.
 
2010 ,  Slovakia, Nitra, Agrofilm27, Inter national Festival. Participating as a 
             Member of International Jury Committee.

2010     Japan. Lecturing Sustainable Agriculture topics on OISCA College for   
           Global Cooperation, Hamamatsu, OISCA Shikoku Training Center 
           (a JICA course), Presenting a key lecture on World Water Resources,
           Kagawa   University.

2010   China, Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Invited by the Guizhou Academy   of
          Agriculture Sciences to lecture Sustainable Agricultural topics on the various
          institutes of the Academy. 
          

.————————————————————————————————————

Directing International Cooperation Activities in Israel

1987 Three- week seminar, on  Arboriculture Fruitiere (French).
1987 Five- week course, on Agricultural Extension in various branches (English). 
1988 Six- week course, on Agro forestry (English).
1989    Seven-week course, on Innovative Integrated Pest Management with     
            Agricultural Extension (English).     
1991 Five week course, on Agricultural Ecology (English).
1991 Four week course, on Food and Grain Storage  (English).
1992 Four week course, on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) (English).
1994    Three week workshop, on Management of Arid and Semiarid Ecological
            Systems (English).
1997   Three week workshop, on Regenerative Agriculture (English).
           
———————————————————————————————————————–

Literature  (Lectures Prepared as Articles for conferences)
A Mechanism for Adapting Agricultural Development to Current Socio-Economic Changes in Israel.  Bucharest, Romania, 1992.

Agroecology, An Approach of Preventing Ecological Damage in Agricultural Production.  Beijing, China, 1993.

National and Regional Supporting System to Promote the Export of Cotton (Israel). Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 1993.

People Security Through Agricultural Production and Rural Development in Developing Countries.  Mexico City, Mexico, 1994.

Big Business Farm – From Agriculture to Agribusiness.  Jerusalem, Israel, 1995.

Agro-ecological Aspects of the Peri-urban Process.  Netanya, Israel, 1996.

Agriculture Under Unfavorable Natural Resources.  Geneva, Switzerland, 1996.

Agricultural Development in Israel. www .city  farmer org.  Urban  Agricultural Notes. 1999

  Sustainable Agriculture in the World, The Israeli Experience .Bangalor India, 1999.

The Advantage of the Desert for the Advancement of Farming under Israel
     Circumstances. Lanzhou, China,1999.

The Use of Saline Water for Irrigation of Agricultural Crops. Tianjin, China, 1999.

Sustainable Agriculture, the Israeli Experience. Trivandrum, India,2000.

The Sustainable Management of Water Resources in the Arid Zone of Israel with Emphasis on Reforestation Activities. Concepcion, Chile,2000.

The Agro-Ecological Aspects of  “Sustainable Agriculture” in Mauritius, St. Pierre, Mauritius, 2001.

Agriculture for the quality on human life, Nitra, Slovakia, 2001.

Biodiversity and Environment, Calicut, Kerala State, India, 2002.

 Microfarm  Project using Simplified Hydroponics and Fertigation in the Lerma Chapala Basin. Mexico, 2003.

Socio Economic Forms in the Rural Area of the Developing Countries, Related to Food Security. Nitra, Slovakia, 2003.

Sustainable Agricultural Methods to Combat Desertification, the Israeli Experience, ECHO 10th Conference, Fort Myers, USA, 2003.

Microfarming Techniques for Yak Producers in the Tibetan Area of Muli in SW Sichuan, China. Conference, Chengdu, September, 2004.

The Global Aspects to Achieve Food Security through Sustainable Agriculture.
SESEC conference, Lausanne, Switzerland , 2005.

UN PROGRAMA REGIONAL AGRICOLA DE INVESTIGACION Y DESARROLLO BASADO EN EL ENFOQUE DE AGRICULTURA SUSTENIBLE. Estadeo de Zacatecas, Mexico, 2006

UN PROGRAMA REGIONAL EN  EL ESTADO DE QUERETARO CON EL FIN DE IDENTIFICAR UN PROYECTO EN EL CAMPO DE LA ELECTRICIDAD Y PROYECTO AGRÍCOLA  INTEGRAL REGIONAL DE INVESTIGACIÓN Y DESARROLLO. Estado de Quereraro, Mexico, 2006.

The Israeli experience on Biotechnologies and Sustainable Agriculture. Shanghai International Forum on Biotechnologies, July 2007

Chongming Island Ecological Conservation Project1, Shanghai, July 2007
      www.academicjournals.org/JGRP/PDF/Pdf2008/Mar/Katzir.pdf

Organic Agriculture under protected condition, Universidad Autonoma Zacatecas
     (UAZ), XII National Mexican   Congress of Horticultural Sciences, August 2007..

=================================================

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 24th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


Death by Corporation, Part II: Companies as Cancer Cells.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013 09:40 By Dr Brian Moench, Truthout | Report

The financial industry, chemical industry, drug companies, nuclear industrial complex and dirty energy empire work “like tumor cells for the relentless destruction of the environment that they themselves depend upon for their very lives. And the rest of us stand by and watch it happen.”

The Financial Industry

The global financial crisis of 2008, at a cost of more than $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression. The financial crisis became a human crisis. The World Bank estimated that 53 million people worldwide were thrown into poverty and that between 200,000 and 400,000 babies died annually as a result. Millions of children in sub-Saharan Africa have suffered severe malnutrition and long-term brain damage as fallout from the financial disaster.

Suicide rates rise and fall with the state of the economy. Unemployment and foreclosure are the largest triggers in increased suicide risk. About 35,000 Americans die every year from suicides, up about 28 percent since 1999. Suicide rates in Europe, where the recession has been even more severe, are even higher. Ervin Lupoe from Wilmington, California, shot his five children and wife to death before turning the gun on himself. Lupoe was deep in debt, behind on his mortgage and had been fired from his hospital job. Anxiety, fear, crime, domestic abuse, murder and suicide all increased worldwide because of the financial crisis.

It was an “avoidable” disaster caused by widespread failures in government regulation, corporate mismanagement and heedless risk-taking by Wall Street, according to the conclusions of a federal inquiry. It was the private market, not government programs, that made, packaged and sold most of these wretched loans without regard to their quality. The packaging, combined with credit default swaps and other esoteric derivatives, spread the contagion throughout the world. That’s why what initially seemed to be a large but containable US mortgage problem touched off a worldwide financial crisis.

The speculative binge was abetted by a giant “shadow banking system” in which the banks relied heavily on short-term debt, snake oil mortgage hucksters and credit rating agencies that essentially prostituted themselves for cash from the investment banks. Regulators “lacked the political will” to scrutinize and hold accountable the institutions they were supposed to oversee. The financial industry spent $2.7 billion on lobbying from 1999 to 2008, while individuals and committees affiliated with it made more than $1 billion of campaign contributions.

The banking industry is completely unchastened. It is now pressing a full-frontal assault on repealing Dodd-Frank – a small, inadequate attempt to prevent it from destroying our economy again.

The Chemical Industry

Albert Einstein is often attributed with a statement like, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” Although Einstein may not have actually said that, and he was not an entomologist, the importance of pollinators to modern agriculture is difficult to overstate. Humans likely will not survive a total collapse of the bee population, and we are headed in that direction. Eighty-seven of the top human food crops, which supply about 90 percent of the world’s nutrition, are pollinated by bees.

“Human beings have fabricated the illusion that in the 21st century they have the technological prowess to be independent of nature. Bees underline the reality that we are more, not less, dependent on nature’s services in a world of close to 7 billion people,” said UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“Colony collapse disorder” (CCD) began to appear in 2007. The bees were abandoning their hives, losing their homing behavior and acting disoriented, kind of like “bee autism.” Like three blind mice, scientists, federal regulators and the media initially pointed the finger at climate change, poor nutrition, fungus, cell-tower radiation, mites, and viruses. Finally they’ve begun to open their eyes.

A new class of pesticides that systemically infiltrates the entire plant from seed to flower, called neonicotinoids, attacks the nervous system of insects with devastating efficiency. Neonicotinoids surged in popularity about the time CCD appeared. Not surprisingly, they were found to be as toxic to beneficial insects as they were to pests. These pesticides have risen to the top of the list of CCD culprits, and the European Union has placed a two-year ban on neonicotinoids. So far, nothing has been done by the EPA in the US.

Europe and the United States have different approaches to environmental regulation of toxic substances. Europe errs on the side of safety; the US errs on the side of corporate profits. Where Europe requires chemicals to demonstrate safety before release and is willing to take products off the shelf at a relatively low threshold of evidence, the United States does virtually the opposite. The EPA basically assumes all products are safe and will withdraw products only after they have been conclusively proven guilty of serious harm.

The chemical companies Bayer, Syngenta, BASF, Dow, DuPont and Monsanto (highlighted in Part I of this essay) have waved a smoke screen in front of the bee calamity, claiming the mystery cannot yet be solved and not even precautionary action can be taken. The mounting science that implicates their product is “faulty,” they say, just like the “junk” science that exposed tobacco, asbestos, lead and human-caused global warming. But to show its objectivity and concern, Monsanto is hosting a “Bee Summit,” Bayer is breaking ground on a “Bee Care Center,” and Sygenta is funding grants for research into the accelerating demise of honeybees in the United States. I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m willing to guess that the pesticide industry’s research will exonerate pesticides.

Despite the unique and critical function that bees perform, despite what is common sense to everyone else, the EPA appears only too happy to let the smoke screen obscure its responsibility to protect our food supply. The EPA has shunned researchers who have drawn conclusions critical of neonicotinoids and are poised to make the situation even worse by approving another bee-killing class of pesticides from our friends at Dow – the sulfoximines.

When it comes to safeguarding the food supply of all humankind or the profits of a handful of chemical companies, you can tell who has the upper hand.

The Drug Companies

About 20 years ago, the United States became, and still is, virtually the only major country where the $600 billion drug industry can advertise directly to consumers. Patients now tell their doctors what drugs they should be on. For the drug companies, the results have been spectacular, for public health, the exact opposite. The US is 49th in the world in life expectancy despite Americans taking more prescription drugs per capita than any other country. Spending on prescription drugs more than doubled between 1999 and 2008. Nine of ten adults over 60 are on a prescription drug, as are one of every four children and teenagers. More than 20 percent of all American adults are taking at least one drug for “psychiatric” or “behavioral” disorders. Americans’ recent fascination with doped-up zombies is a reality show playing out in front of their own mirrors.

Between 2001 and 2007, the percentage of adults and children on one or more prescriptions for chronic conditions rose by more than 12 million. Twenty-five percent of American children now take a drug for some kind of chronic condition. Nearly 3 million children are on Lipitor, the anti-cholesterol drug that is increasingly suspected of causing a wide range of neurologic pathologies, including Lou Gehrig’s disease. (It turns out nerve cells require cholesterol to function). Twenty million Americans are on these anti-cholesterol drugs, the largest-selling class of prescription medicine.

I have seen patients on as many as 18 prescription drugs. When I was in medical school, I was told that by the time a patient is on five different drugs, there is virtually a 100 percent chance of having an adverse drug interaction. One doctor observed that there is no scientific basis for treating older folks with more than $300 of meds per month that have serious side effects and largely unknown multiple drug interactions. In fact 200,000 Americans are killed every year by prescription drugs, including adverse drug interactions. A standard marketing approach for drug companies seeking to meet “sales quotas” is to send drug reps to doctors and push them to prescribe drugs for off-label use, which although legal, raises obvious questions of ethics, efficacy and magnification of side-effect risks. The end result is Americans take epilepsy seizure drugs for pain, antipsychotics for the blues and an antidepressants for knee pain – and hot flashes – all because of marketing and sales quotas.

A deadly example is Cephalon’s painkilling fentanyl lollipop, Actiq, which is loaded with the potent painkiller that I use only as a supplement to general anesthesia and for the first few hours of postoperative pain. The product was approved only to treat terminal cancer patients in chronic pain who are already on an opioid drug because life-threatening conditions can occur at any dose in patients without a chronic, buildup of tolerance for narcotics. With the pressure to meet their quota at their backs, Cephalon sales reps were regularly sent to doctors who treated no cancer patients, with free coupons to pass out to patients with simple problems like migraines and back pain. A study by Prime Therapeutics found Actiq was prescribed off-label nearly 90 percent of the time. You can go online right now and get a free coupon for a “reduced price” on your fentanyl lollipop. Meeting a sales quota is certainly one of the reasons prescription pain killer overdoses kill 15,000 people a year, nearly four times more than in 1999, with 500,000 ER visits and costing health care insurers $72.5 billion annually. Some pharmaceutical corporations have become simply drug dealers with fancier clothes.

Many drugs become part of mainstream medical practice only because of studies sponsored by drug companies.
Most published trials funded by drug companies show positive results and are conducted overseas – on sick Russians, homeless Poles and slum-dwelling Chinese – in places where regulation is virtually nonexistent. Furthermore, drug companies spend twice as much on sales and marketing as they do on research. The pharmaceutical industry has the largest political lobbying force in the United States. None of that lobbying is to persuade Congress to let them save more lives. Its only objective is let the industry make more money.

The pharmaceutical industry has heavily infiltrated the curriculum in American medical schools, is taking a dominant role in its relationship with the medical profession, and is having a corrupting influence on academic research into its own products. At Harvard Medical School, the pinnacle of American medicine, where I served as an instructor years ago, of the 8,900 professors and lecturers there in 2009, 1,600 admitted that they or a family member have had some kind of business link to drug companies, sometimes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, that could bias their teaching or research.

The story of Vioxx and Celebrex is a microcosm of drug company behavior. When studies on Vioxx and Celebrex became available in 1998 and 1999, many doctors were disappointed. Neither drug alleviated pain any better than the older medicines. And the drugs cost close to $3 a pill; over-the-counter pain relievers, in contrast, cost pennies a dose.

Merck had known of potential lethal side effects even before launching Vioxx in 1999 but had brushed all such disturbing tests under the rug. Merck held data for three years that proved Vioxx caused an alarming increase in the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Estimates of deaths caused by Vioxx are as high as 500,000. Merck knowingly and maliciously allowed a deadly drug to continue to be sold to patients for years to maximize profits through the sale of a product they knew was killing people. Merck’s actions fit the legal definition of “negligent homicide.” Part of this story is the cozy relationship between Merck and the FDA. An FDA scientist who discovered the Vioxx heart connection early on said his FDA bosses forced him to quash information that was potentially damaging to Merck. The most disturbing part of the Vioxx story is – despite paying out billions of dollars in lawsuits, Vioxx still made money for Merck. Walking over a few dead bodies on the way to meet a sales quota is just what we do in corporate America.

The Nuclear Industrial Complex

Any discussion about corporations that threaten the future of mankind must obviously include the nuclear industry. Even outside the realm of nuclear accidents, every phase of the nuclear fuel cycle releases radiation into the environment – the uranium mining, the milling, the fuel production, the power plant operation and the multiple streams of waste.

For example, out of sight, out of mind, and virtually out of the discussion of nuclear power are the 200 million tons of uranium mill tailings still lying scattered throughout the Western US exposed to the winds and rain. Dr. William Lochstet of Penn State University calculated that operation of a single uranium mine could result in 8.5 million deaths over time.1 Dr. Robert O. Pohl of Cornell believed the potential health effects from mill tailings could “completely dwarf” those from the rest of the nuclear fuel cycle and add significantly to the worldwide toll of death and mutations.2 In 1977, Dr. Walter H. Jordan, of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), stated the commission “had underestimated radon emissions from tailings piles by a factor of 100,000. It is very difficult to argue that deaths to future generations are unimportant.”3 Radon gas is heavier than air but can travel thousands of miles from its source, damaging chromosomes and causing cancer every mile of the way.

The health risks of radiation always have been viewed differently by scientists with a background in the hard sciences – physics and engineering – compared with scientists with a background in the soft sciences – biology, genetics, physiology and medicine. Generally, the “hard” scientists tend to discount risks of low-dose radiation and are more often proponents of nuclear power. The “soft” scientists observe that biological organisms are too complex to establish rules for safe exposure; they more often oppose nuclear power, like the aforementioned scientists who have warned about mill tailings.

Hermann Muller won the 1943 Nobel Prize for discovering genetic mutations caused by X-rays. In a paper he published in 1964, “Radiation and Heredity,” he predicted the gradual reduction of the survival of the human species as the exposure to ionizing radiation increased. Since then, radiation to the human population has steadily increased. And, in fact, sperm counts and fertility rates are dropping worldwide, according to a 2010 report from the European Science Foundation. Multiple culprits likely are involved, but our exposure to radiation, from medical procedures to fallout from nuclear tests, accidents and power plants, are at the top of the list.

The National Academy of Sciences’ last report on the health risk of radiation in 2006 (BEIR VII) stated all radiation has consequences, and no dose can be considered safe. Radiation damage is cumulative, and each successive dose builds upon the cellular mutation caused by the last. It can take years for radiation damage to manifest pathology. For nuclear apologists to declare that no one died from Fukushima, so onward with the “nuclear renaissance,” reveals childlike ignorance or deliberate deception.

All nuclear power plants are potential global disasters that threaten the future of mankind and every living thing. Every human has been affected by radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl accident because the radiation eventually circumnavigated the entire globe. Radiation’s calling card is damage to chromosomes that can be passed on to subsequent generations. Chromosomal damage is not just the first step in a long road to cancer and infertility, it is also a common denominator for myriad diseases and dysfunction involving virtually every organ system.

Fukushima, although it has disappeared from the news cycle, is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind.
Three self-sustaining nuclear meltdowns that will not be fully contained for years, six damaged reactors, the equivalent of 20 nuclear cores exposed. Half of Japan is now contaminated. Serious cleanup could cost $10 trillion. The Japanese government has admitted that the amount of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster so far is the equivalent of 168 Hiroshima bombs. That doesn’t count the radioactivity that is still being spread into the Pacific Ocean from radioactively contaminated water used to cool the doomed reactors, which will end up distributed throughout the global ecosystem.

The whole concept of nuclear power plants, launched by President Dwight Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” speech to the United Nations in 1953, was an afterthought to the development of nuclear weapons. The public had become terrified of “mutually assured destruction” and those politicians, convinced that nuclear arms were nonetheless imperative, were looking for a means to soothe Americans’ nuclear anxiety, or what we might call today “pre-traumatic stress disorder.”

The promise of safe, “too cheap to meter” electricity turned out to be a complete and utter fraud, and the governments of the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Russia played a major role in that deception.

But so did the corporations that stood to cash in on the nuclear power “boom.” The companies that helped bring us these nuclear power plant disasters – General Electric, Hitachi, Toshiba – through flawed designs, poor construction, cheap materials and prioritizing profits over safety have nonetheless enjoyed near immunity from financial consequence. In virtually every country with nuclear reactors, the laws seriously limit a nuclear company’s liability to a tiny fraction of the real damages. So when that is the case and a corporation’s only motive is profit, there is little incentive for them to prioritize safety instead.

The list of examples of nuclear corporations cutting safety corners to save money is too long for this article, but how the nuclear industry responded after the Fukushima debacle is just the most recent example. Rather than being chastened by this disaster, the nuclear industry has done just exactly what the financial industry did – act like nothing happened and fight tooth and nail against any reform. The NRC spent a year assembling a list of 12 post-Fukushima safety improvements but, succumbing to industry pressure, chose to demand only three. Then it gave the industry up to five years to comply. Recently the nuclear industry complained to congressional Republicans that NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko was being too aggressive in pursuing post-Fukushima safety regulations, so they got him canned.

Granting a license extension to an existing nuclear power plant may not seem like much of a reason to march and protest, but nuclear reactors have a limited life span because all their component parts do. And the materials degrade more quickly because of the radioactive exposure. Extending a plant’s life of operation definitely increases the risk of an accident. So far by 2013, 71 nuclear reactors have applied for a 20-year extension of their licenses, and all 71 have been approved, many with the same design flaws as found at Fukushima. “Fukushima? What Me Worry?”


The Dirty Energy Empire

Finally, this brings us to the fossil fuel industry. As I write this, the temperature is a record-setting 105 degrees in Salt Lake City; no relief is expected for a week. Western forests are being obliterated by drought, pine beetle infestations and wildfires. Reservoirs are only half full. The summer is just getting started; so is global warming.

To keep the climate stabilized enough to maintain civilization as we have come to know it, or even avoid mass starvation and global chaos, we will have to stay within a carbon budget. The world must only allow about one fifth of the known, economically recoverable reserves of coal, oil and gas to be extracted and burned. There is no evidence whatsoever that any of these corporations are entertaining any thoughts of self-restraint. As mindless, amoral, and unbridled as a malignancy destroying its host, Exxon-Mobil, TransCanada, Peabody Energy, Koch Industries and the like employ hundreds of thousands of people working like tumor cells for the relentless destruction of the environment and climate that they themselves depend upon for their very lives. And the rest of us stand by and watch it happen. In fact, if we work for a bank, we may not only be watching it happen, we may be loaning them the money to make sure it happens.

If the fossil-fuel corporations seem like Frankenstein monsters, unbelievably they may actually not be the worst. According to the Environmental Investigation Agency, many Chinese and Indian companies that make the refrigerant HCFC-22 are demanding big money to dispose of a byproduct of that process, HFC-23, which is a greenhouse gas 14,800 times more potent than CO2. Despite having cheap destruction technology readily available, they intend to hold their stores of HFC-23 hostage until the rest of the world pays up. This has caught the attention of other manufacturers of HCFC-22 in developing countries who are poised to join in the “climate bomb” threat.

Under a UN program, incinerators for HFC-23 are installed at 19 refrigerant facilities, mostly in China and India but also in South Korea, Argentina and Mexico, to help control the super greenhouse gas. Destruction of HFC-23 is extremely cheap. But refrigerant companies made billions in windfall profits from the sale of carbon credits, maximized through manipulation of HCFC-22 and HFC-23 production levels. This prompted the European Emissions Trading Scheme to ban the trade of HFC-23 credits as of May 1, 2013. Other carbon markets have followed suit, resulting in the collapse of the HFC-23 credit market. What is at stake here is the greenhouse gas equivalent of one-fourth of China’s annual CO2 emissions.

As disturbing as all of this is, something looms on the horizon that could dismantle what few tools citizens have to defend their health, environment, wallet and climate from evisceration by corporate invaders from across the globe. In Part III of Mankind: Death by Corporation, we’ll investigate what is being assembled behind a curtain of secrecy, a “Death Star” of corporate omnipotence, allowing them to impose their will on citizens and communities anywhere in the world as never before – The Trans-Pacific Partnership.

[1] William Lochstet, “Radiological Impact of the Proposed Crownpoint Uranium Mining Project,” August 1978, unpublished manuscript.

[2] Robert O. Pohl, “In the Matter of Public Service Company of Oklahoma,

Associated Electric Coop., Inc. and Western Farmers Coop., Inc. (Black Fox Station Units 1 and 2,” testimony before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, Docket Nos. STN 50-556 and STN 50-557.

[3] Walter Jordan, “Errors in 10 CFR Section 51.20, Table S-3,” memorandum to James R. Yore, NRC, September 21, 1977; and Walter Jordan, letter to Congressman Clifford Allen, December 9, 1977.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on June 25th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

from: Ricken Patel of  www.Avaaz.org

30 months to save the world

Dear Avaaz community,

This may be the most important email I’ve written to you. Scientists have found that vast areas of Arctic sea ice are disappearing, accelerating the destruction of our planet — it is a climate tipping point and we CAN stop it, if we act very fast, and all together. We have 30 months until the biggest climate summit ever. To win it, we need to blast out of the starting gate. Click below to make a donation and help us get there:
Donate now
This may be the most important email I’ve ever written to you.

Scientist Julienne Stroeve has studied Arctic ice for decades. Every summer she travels north to measure how much ice has melted. She knows that climate change is melting the ice fast, but on her last trip, she couldn’t believe what she saw. Vast areas of Arctic ice have disappeared, beyond our worst expectations.

This is what the experts warned us about. As the earth warms, it creates many “tipping points” that accelerate the warming out of control. Warming thaws the Arctic sea ice, destroying the giant white ‘mirror’ that reflects heat back into space, which massively heats up the ocean, and melts more ice, and so on. We spin out of control. Already this year — storms, temperatures — everything is off the charts.

We CAN stop this, if we act very fast, and all together. And out of this extinction nightmare, we can pull one of the most inspiring futures for our children and grandchildren. A clean, green future in balance with the earth that gave birth to us.

We have 30 months until the Paris Summit, the meeting that world leaders have decided will determine the fate of our efforts to fight climate change. It might seem like a long time – it’s not. We have 30 months to get the right leaders in power, get them to that meeting, give them a plan, and hold them accountable. And it’s us vs. the oil companies, and fatalism. We can win, we must, but we need to blast out of the starting gate with donations of just a few dollars/euros/pounds per week until the summit. For the world we dream of, let’s make it happen:

 secure.avaaz.org/donate/en/?cl=2…

Fatalism on climate change is not just futile, it’s also incompetent. The hour is late, but it is still absolutely within our power to stop this catastrophe, simply by shifting our economies from oil and coal to other sources of power. And doing so will bring the world together like never before, in a deep commitment and cooperation to protect our planetary home. It’s a beautiful possibility, and the kind of future Avaaz was born to create.

Facing this challenge will take heart, and hope, and also all the smarts we have. Here’s the plan:

1. Go Political: Elect Climate Leaders — 5 crucial countries have elections in the next 30 months. Let’s make sure the right people win, and with the right mandate. Avaaz is one of the only major global advocacy organizations that can be political. And since this fight will be won or lost politically, it could be at some points just us vs. the oil companies to decide who our politicians listen to.

2. Make Hollande a Hero — French President Francois Hollande will chair the Paris summit – a powerful position. We have to try every tactic and channel — his personal friends and family, his political constituency, his policy advisors — to make him the hero we need him to be to make the summit a success.

3. Take it to the Next Level — The scale of this crisis demands action that goes beyond regular campaigning. It’s time for powerful, direct, non-violent action, to capture imagination, convey moral urgency, and inspire people to act. Think Occupy.

?4. Out the Spoilers — Billionaires like the Koch brothers and their oil companies are the major spoilers in climate change – funding junk science to confuse us and spending millions on misleading PR, while buying politicians wholesale. With investigative journalism and more, we need to expose and counter their horrifically irresponsible actions.

5. Define the Deal — Even in the face of planetary catastrophe, 195 governments in a room can be just incompetent. We need to invest in top quality policy advice to develop ingenious strategies, mechanisms, and careful compromises so that when the summit arrives, a critical mass of leaders are already bought in to a large part of the deal, and no one can claim that good solutions don’t exist.

We need tens of thousands of us to make small donations to blast out of the starting gate on this plan. The amount doesn’t matter as much as the choice – to hope, and to act:

 secure.avaaz.org/donate/en/?cl=2…

At the last major climate summit in Copenhagen 2009, we played a pivotal role in German and Japanese ‘climate’ elections, in shifting Brazilian policy, and in helping win a major global deal on financing, with rich countries promising $100 billion per year to poor countries to help them address climate change. Back then, Avaaz was 3 million people. After Copenhagen, we reflected that we needed to be a lot bigger to meet the challenge posed by climate change. Now, we’re 23 million, and growing by 1 million per month.

Climate change is the ultimate global collective action problem, requiring cooperation from every government in the world. And Avaaz is the ultimate collective action solution, with millions of us united in common vision across every nation. This is our time, to build a world for our children that’s beauty matches our dreams. Let’s get started.

With hope and appreciation for this amazing community,

Ricken and the entire Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION:

With Arctic sea ice vulnerable, summer melt season begins briskly (The Christian Science Monitor)
 www.csmonitor.com/Environment/201…

Arctic sea ice levels to reach record low within days (Guardian)
 www.guardian.co.uk/environment/20…

Five Reasons We Need a New Global Agreement on Climate Change by 2015 (Switchboard NRDC)
 switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jschmi…

The Doha climate talks were a start, but 2015 will be the moment of truth (The Guardian)
 www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/…

Arctic sea ice melt disrupts weather patterns (NBC News)
 science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05…

The Arctic Ice “Death Spiral” (Slate)
 www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy…

———————————————-
 Avaaz.org is a 23-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on May 24th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

WHAT:  The UN and Japan’s Role in Global Governance

SPONSOR:  Japan Society

WHEN:           Wednesday, May 29, 2013; 6:30 pm (Check-in begins at 6:00 pm)

WHERE: Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street

SPEAKER: H.E. Tsuneo Nishida is Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations. Working for Japan’s foreign ministry since 1970, Ambassador Nishida was in the Japanese Embassy in the USSR and in the USA. He was also the Japanese Consul-General in Los Angeles.

In recent years, Mr. Nishida worked for the Japanese government as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. After serving as Ambassador of Japan to Canada, he was appointed Japan’s representative to the United Nations in June 2010.

BACKGROUND:  The challenges that the world faces today are diverse and complex, from nuclear disarmament and terrorism to human rights and sustainable development.  Ambassador Nishida will discuss Japan’s engagement with the United Nations and its role in today’s global governance.

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