Archive for March, 2011
In addition to putting uranium and other carcinogens in the nation’s drinking water, and into its clean air, fracking can also cause earthquakes. Fracking is technology that oil and gas companies use to break up rocks deep in the earth in order to obtain natural gas. They then use the heavy pounding of fracking to return the contaminated water used in the first operation back down into earth. Since fracking began, people across the nation have complained about dangerous substances in wells, drinking water, and irrigation sources. And now earthquakes! State officials in Arkansas banned all fracking when the population complained about unexplained and repeating earthquakes. Alerted by bad experiences in other states, officials in Maryland recently voted to ban all fracking. New York, New Jersey and the City of Pittsburgh have also issued moratoriums against fracking.
Citizens in Arkansas so harassed public officials about the great increase in earthquakes since pounding from two ejection wells started, until the state put a moratorium on fracking. The Center for Earthquake Research and Information recorded 100 earthquakes in the seven days before the shutdown, and the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission reports that some 1,000 earthquakes hit around fracking sites for over six months before the shutdown. One 4.7 magnitude quake is “the largest quake to hit the state in 35 years.” But immediately after authorities ceased fracking operations, only 60 quakes were recorded with the majority having magnitudes between 1.2 and 2.8. Of course, the corporations doing the fracking insist that these “minor” earthquakes are from natural causes.
The State of Maryland, which apparently has the largest store of shale rock filled with natural gas in the country, is now so skeptical about the environmental hazards of fracking that they voted this week to ban all fracking in their state. Maryland Delegate Heather R. Mizeur, who sponsored the bill to ban fracking, says: “We’re not going to be like other states that drilled first and asked questions later.” Her bill stops all fracking activity in the Maryland for at least two years until the state’s Department of Environment completes a two-year study on how fracking affects drinking water and other threats to public health.
Creating nuclear power, as well as digging into the earth for oil and gas, have all proven hazardous to water, earth and air––and dangerous to human lives. At some point the United States must turn wholeheartedly to natural energy alternatives––such as solar power and wind power. Online Bible Lessons teach about a very wise man named King Solomon, who writes: “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4: 7). It is anything but wisdom to continuously endanger the lives of millions to obtain types of temporary energy to enrich the coffers of energy companies, when free energy is available for much lower cost.
Bea: This sher is me John, Bea.
Ethel: Tanks much for ‘viting me sir. I’s em Ethel.
John: Jude is ya here? Let me git that operat girl. He’s spose ta be shear.
John: Jude, Jude she say you’se on da line. So say somethung!
Jude: ok ok I’m shar! So what ya wants me ta say?
Jude: Yeah, yeah. So wha’s this all ‘bout John?
John: Well first I’d wanna let us all ta say hi to Ethel. She’s new to us en’s pals group.
Jude: Corse I know her. She’s mys neighbor. Come on! I ain’t got all days.
John: Bea, I don’t think ya knows Ethel, does ya?
Bea: Well, no I guess I’s don’t knows her, or met her or nyeethang. So’s I gess I’d best says hi to her.
John: O.K. Say it then!
Bea” Hi Ethel. Been meaning to call and say thanks fo the gift.
Ethel: How ya doing Miss?
John: Good thang! Now I’s calls us cause we needs to form a prayins’ gets togeth’r. A phonen’ prayins’ gathern’. There’s much we’s got to pray ‘bout.
Jude: First yas gots to pologize fo ways you say stuff bout me in Jael’s page.
John: Ahhhh!! Come on man. Ya knows I twas just jossen ya. Taint notin ta bes upsets bout. Butz ok if yas want, I pologize.
Jude: Well I guess that’ll be ok. But I’s still miffed bout it.
Bea: Com’ on Jude. We’s got to be ‘n Christian spirit.
John: Right! Now da world seems ta be in a mess. We’s gots to pray bout them peoples in Japan’s sufferin’ and that that thar ‘tomic plant cant blow us all up. And we’s got to pray for da right peoples to win in dat fightin all round Israel. And for our boys and them guys trying ta help thems fightin for theirs freedom! And fer da President and Congress en all. Ens be sure ta pray what Jael’s askin’ too!
Bea: Yeah John, but don’t we’s have ta pray fo ours families too!
John: Corse Bea, but yas do that everydays anyhow. Oh me! TIME’s UP and we’s still ain’t yet prayed. God forgive us! Note dat prayer list. En be sure ta reads James 5: 16b “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Ours prayin’ for these thangs saves lives and brings peace. En, we’s all ordering wholesale Christian t-shirts with ours special pictures for picnics this summer. So tells me ya sizes you wants. Keeps prayin’. We talk ‘gain next week.
Some nations are rethinking the use and storage of nuclear power. News sources claim that Germany, which shut down its seven oldest reactors for safety checks after the Japanese disaster, plans to close all of its nuclear power plants in the near future. They will rely more on solar, wind and geothermal energy sources. Austria proudly reminds others in the European Union that it phased out nuclear energy in the 1970s. Only France, which uses nuclear power for about 80% of its electricity, insists that it will keep its energy plans focused on nuclear power. But few spokespersons there have addressed pending problems of nuclear storage.
Reporting on intense state-by-state studies from Associated Press teams, Jonathan Fahey cites 71,862 tons of nuclear waste––still hot and radioactive–– scattered across over 30 states in the United States. He also points out that it is stored waste causing much of Japan’s nuclear problems: “Spent fuel at Dai-ichi overheated, possibly melting fuel-rod casings and spewing radiation into the air, after Japan’s tsunami knocked out power to cooling systems at the plant.”
Keith Darce’s Union-Tribune article adds that even before the Japanese debacle, government officials and nuclear plant operators in the United States began looking for ideal “small towns” in which to store smaller batches of spent nuclear fuel. President Obama appointed the “Blue Ribbon Commission for American’s Nuclear Future,” for just that purpose. So that rather than some 30 nuclear waste sites, this nation would have hundreds of sites. Keep in mind that spent fuels must be transported from producing plants to these “small towns.”
One must also keep in mind that spent fuel can seep into both air and water, and decay growing over decades and centuries can seep through so-called fail-safe underground concrete, steel and other containment vessels. But Jeremy van Loon writes in Bloomberg that according to university researchers, “Storing nuclear waste above ground at atomic power plants for as long as six decades may be the best temporary solution in the U.S. for the dangerous refuse.” The same researchers admit radioactive waste is dangerous for thousands of years.
So much for six decades. But then other researchers insist that modern technology can keep nuclear waste safe for as long as 100,000 years. More insanity. It is also insane to build these nuclear systems to provide a few years of fuel with a deadly substance that will last hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Is it not extreme arrogance to give some people electricity for a few years, while endangering the lives of others for hundreds of years? Well wrote the prophet Jeremiah, “It is of The LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not (3: 22).” In view of that mercy, surely it is time for Christian companies to produce plus size Christian t-shirts blaring the message, “No More Nuclear Energy.” It is also time for believers to do much, much more!
Japan may be getting closer to solving the problems in its nuclear energy plants. But much investigation is needed as to why, just a few weeks before this month’s earthquake, the Japan’s Nuclear Energy Commission approved such old, sometimes poorly functioning, nuclear power plants to run for another 60 years. And the International Nuclear Commission went along with it. See Sarah Newsworthy’s latest reporting on this issue. And don’t miss her in-depth reporting on nuclear power plants and nuclear storage sites in the United States.
Do you know if there are any nuclear power plants near where you live? Do you know about the safety of the facilities and how the spent fuel is stored? Get informed about nuclear power and nuclear storage with our latest news blogs!
Read Jael Ever’s latest installment about some scientists’ conclusions that underground “fracking” for natural gas causes earthquakes. And get the latest report from Ally I. Feermeno on the recent increase of automobiles hitting and killing Florida panthers––among the precious few of these animals on the endangered species list without the help of careless drivers.
And don’t miss Ida Mae Wells IV, and Maleekie Ambularie’s articles and interviews about tyranny and freedom, along with their interviews with women involved in the current crisis in the Middle East.
As Sarah’s motto says with every edition, we give you only what is the highest quality On-Line Journalism.
Today’s edition is sponsored by wholesale Christian t-shirts, and by God’s Holy Word. 2 Peter 3: 5 begins, “For this they willingly are ignorant of . . .” True Christians do not have the right to be willingly ignorant. God depends on us to be knowledgeable about Him and the proper care of the earth He created. So read our blogs as often as possible to get the latest news coverage from the Bible’s point of view. And remember we welcome your Letters to the Editor responses! Hurry! Hurry! Get the latest news right here!
Japan’s nuclear disaster has awakened concern around the world, not only about the operation of nuclear power plants, but also about the storage of nuclear waste materials. Especially in the United States, the relationship between newly discovered earthquake faults and nuclear power plants is of utmost of concern. U.S. nuclear scientists insist that terrorist threat warnings on 911 caused power plant operators to upgrade the storage of waste materials, supposedly putting the U.S. decades ahead of Japanese safety measures. However, the Japanese also had warnings about earthquakes and nuclear power sites that long went unheeded.
For instance, on July 16, 2007, a 6.8 earthquake hit Japan’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa’s Nuclear plant––which is, in fact, the largest nuclear facility in the world. Then, as now, Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) was very slow to admit the actual damage to the facility. It turned out that 400 barrels of stored radioactive waste were spilled and 317 gallons made it into the Sea of Japan. At that time, the Citizens Nuclear Information Center (CNIC) reported: “In just two years three earthquakes . . . have exceeded the ‘extreme design earthquake’ assumed at the time the plants were built.” While the Nuclear Safety Commission then revised earthquake guidelines for TEPCO, plants were not even temporarily shut down.
Keith Darce of the San Diego Union-Tribune cites a report from Energy Resources International that some 65,000 metric tons of spent uranium are currently being stored around the United States. He adds that “U.S. reactors generate about 2,210 metric tons of new radioactive waste annually.” The problem is that, as in Japan, many of these storage sites sit on recently discovered earthquake faults. Brian Merchant of planet green.com writes that this spent uranium is kept in 131 separate sites in 39 states––including some 31 million pounds of uranium waste at one site in Fernald, Ohio alone. Shamefully, no one seems to know how long this waste must stay in storage. Some say 60 years, others say 1,000. I will have more on these time factors in the next installment!
As a member of the International Association of Truth Telling Women Journalists, I must say that when considering the amount of deadly nuclear waste stored in first world countries, it is easy to envision complete world-wide annihilation. As a Christian, who keeps a keen eye on Bible prophecies, the debate as to whether or not the reign of Antichrist will be confined to a few nations in Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East, or that it will be world-wide seems irrelevant. Obviously, unless God intervenes to end this nuclear madness, human beings are now more than capable of killing earth’s entire population. Thus, one must pray with the beloved Apostle John as He responds to The Lord Jesus’ promised return: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22: 20).
Little has been said about factors leading to the crisis in the Middle East. One factor is the continuous rising cost of food. Rulers, kings and governments seem oblivious to the fact that the cost basic foods make it more and more impossible for common folk to sustain normal qualities of life. Turmoil throughout the region began when an unemployed college professor in Tunisia, where the admitted jobless rate is 14 percent, trying to eke out a living selling fruits and vegetables, set himself on fire after police confiscated his wares for “selling without a license.” As a result, regimes across the region are falling. People could no longer allow the wealthy to oppress them to the point of starvation. As NPR reports, “Many of the people protesting are also angry about dramatic price hikes for basic foodstuffs, such as rice, cereals, cooking oil and sugar.”
In January, the Associated Press wrote that young people in Algeria rioted “over rising food prices and chronic unemployment.” An older woman said: “They are right, these young people. They have no job, no housing, no visa (for other countries) and now not even bread or milk.” The World Bank alerted in February: “The last six months have seen sharp increases in the global prices of wheat, maize, sugar and edible oils, . . . higher global wheat prices have fed into significant increases in local wheat prices in many countries.” The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization insists that prices for basic foods rose to “near record highs worldwide in February.” World Food Programme reports: “rising food prices have pushed 44 million people into poverty and hunger since June” of last year.
Shoppers in the United States are well aware of rising food costs. Actually these price increases started a few years ago. Without giving consumers notice or lowering prices, companies that remanufacture fresh food into canned or other goods simply made containers smaller. Now grocery store chains run as special sales of what would have been regular prices a few months ago––and shoppers must pay. While the Labor Department insists that food price increases have not been more than “an annualized rate of more than 5 percent over the last three months,” shoppers know better. Moreover, because so much of food availability depends on cross-country truck delivery, prices are also affected by oil prices.
The Book of Revelation teaches that scarce food comes from and to war: “And there went out another horse . . . and power was given to him . . to take peace from the earth . . . and that they should kill one another . . . and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice . . . say A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny (6: 4 – 6). Food for pennies indicates scarcity, rationing and starvation. In addition to group bulk purchases, neighborhood gardens, and homemade canned goods, the obvious answer for Christians is praying––for peace, provision and salvation.
Several newspaper columnists offer promising headlines about “Limitations,” following the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear power disaster in Japan. But the articles usually go on to relate reasons for more technology and preparation against such disasters. However, to some, these events aptly illustrate man’s long-term inability to control Nature and populations. The usually resilient, placid Japanese people grow increasingly impatient with their government, because no one seems to be in charge. Cascading catastrophes––the latest being collapse of nuclear power plants––have made the usual diplomatic covers of assistance from other nations impossible. Ingrained cultural habits, political infighting, and unprofessional communications confusion have pulled the veil back on what is supposedly the second or third richest nation on earth. Now it seems that such wealth gives very limited protection. What everyone thought was an advanced, technological superior nation is crumbling to its knees in a matter of days.
Andrew Higgins of The Washington Post explains: “Unlike victims of earthquakes in Haiti, Indonesia or China, those suffering in Japan expect their government to work and can’t understand why a country as affluent as theirs can’t keep gasoline, the lifeblood of a modern economy, flowing and why towns across the northeast have been plunged into frigid darkness for five days.” Until the Japan Democratic Party upset its reign in 2009, the Liberal Democratic Party had ruled Japan for some 50 years. According to the Washington Post archives, regardless of its name, this traditional Party is a conservative, business-centered, Imperial rightist group that had built up most of the present bureaucratic structure. And those bureaucrats do not work well with the newly elected regime. Noriko Hama, an economist at Doshisha University , says: “It’s not in their DNA to work with anybody other than the Liberal Democrats.” Thus, at a time when the Japanese people need great leadership, this power struggle is the nation’s fourth, and perhaps greatest, disaster.
While China now supposedly supersedes Japan in wealth, it is still a rather unsophisticated economy, only made rich with exports of everything to the United States. Not so with Japan. For centuries, its image has been one of wealth, refinement, superiority and well-established technology. These catastrophes indicate the danger of believing pride-filled propaganda and man-made imagery. Skepticism, investigation and vigilance works best in true democracies. But even then, as Christian messages must continuously emphasize, it is unwise to put one’s trust in human beings and man-made systems. Eventually they will fail. But God cannot fail. And He cannot lie (Titus 1: 2). The Bible makes clear that Christians are to put their trust in God alone: “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of” (Isaiah 2:22)?
The ability to manipulate time––to erase events and redo the past, to make pleasurable days last longer, to control the nature of time itself––has long been a desire of the human race. Cher recorded a popular song, “If I Could Turn Back Time.” And Jake Gyllenhaal’s movie, “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” posits that a mystical dagger, if provoked, can reverse time so that a chosen few can avoid present disasters and return to reinvent the past. In rare cases a few individuals may desire to shorten time, but only in limited circumstances, not permanently. But now, thanks to modern science, it is clear that––outside of God Almighty––only massive earthquakes have the power to manipulate time, by bending earth’s axis, and thus shortening the time of earth.
According to NASA scientists––by shifting hefty rocks and boulders, thereby redistributing earth’s mass––higher level earthquakes change the rate of the planet’s rotation, tilting earth’s axis permanently. In this way, shorter days are created. But minutes of time in normal life cycles are lost forever! Joubina Portal News reports that the impact of last year’s huge earthquake in Chile knocked earth’s axis some eight centimeters––making days about three minutes shorter. “Richard Goss, a specialist in geophysics,” defines the Axis as “an imaginary line running from the Arctic to the Antarctica.” Whether imaginary or not, that Axis gives the earth stability. Now, not only are ice glaciers melted by Global Warming affecting the Axis, it is shaken repeatedly by these massive earthquakes. And no doubt, we will soon get reports that last week’s horrific 8.9 earthquake leveling parts of Japan shortened earth’s time even more. Of equal importance to the consideration of time’s shrinkage, is the fact that the Axis and earth’s rotations also contribute to climates, weather patterns and the jet stream––again Global Warming.
Of course the only man in history who is known to have controlled time is the warrior-prophet Joshua. The Old Testament book bearing his name explains that when Joshua needed more daylight to complete victory in battle, he prayed, asking God to extend the daylight hours: “Then spake Joshua to The LORD in the day when The LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies” (Joshua 10: 12 – 13). Thus, while Cher and Jake entertain the nation with song and myth, the real power over time is with God. By checking into some of the more advanced, older texts, such as used Christian books, to get greater depth of understanding, believers can build up to Joshua’s type of faith, even enough to ask God to hold back the rushing times of world-wide judgment, giving believers more time to repent, more time to love, and more time to take the Gospel to the world!
As representing both of our organizations, Earth End-New Beginning and the International Association of Truth Telling Women Journalists, we would like to take this time to offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to the people of Japan for this tremendous disaster and human loss. As we go to press, the earthquake and tsunami flooding have killed some 1,000 Japanese citizens, but over 9,000 remain unaccounted for. Thus, the death toll will likely surpass 10,000. And some 200,000 people are displaced from their homes.
Fifty-foot high walls of trash-filled tsunami flood waters, raging fires, and earthquake destruction, have destroyed massive acres of farm land, homes, and industrial sites. Some towns lie completely under water. People still wait to be rescued. Many cities are without power and water, including some of the nuclear power plants where electricity is essential to run cooling water over spent power coils. Utility workers there struggle to get control of aging nuclear power plants where unknown amounts of dangerous uranium continuously seeps into the atmosphere. Thus, a third source of major disaster could be nuclear meltdowns.
Of course, Christians who were adults in the United States during World War II owe the citizens of Japan an apology. Realizing that battles are first won or lost in the spiritual realm, Japanese rulers, as followers of traditional Japanese religions at that time, asked America’s military and civilian leadership, this all-important question: “Who is your God?” Rather than this confessing Christian nation, testifying of its faith in The Lord Jesus Christ, they answered “moneyed capitalism.” Thus, rather than sending massive missionary efforts to Japan, the United States sent builders, engineers and businessmen to help restore the country materially and put Japan’s automobile industry back on track. As a result, today less than one half of one percent, or two to three million people out of the 127.5 million Japanese population claim any type of Christian affiliation.
This failure of Christian responsibility is one among many sins for which Christian political, business and church leadership in the United States will face God’s judgment. Another Christian responsibility: Christian intercessors today should be praying for Japan and for all nations on earth. According to faithful Christian messages, it is our duty to intercede for every nation on earth. And we suspect that we have failed your nation, as well as most of the others, including our own. So with hearts in hand, again we ask your forgiveness. We leave you with this message from Psalm 24: 1, “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Therefore, we pray that the mercy and grace of Almighty God rests upon Japan this day and every day as you struggle to recover from this horrific ordeal!
The endangered species status of the Florida Panther is a perfect example of what investigators mean by manipulating species records. Moreover, the treatment of this animal’s status possibly includes fraud and violation of U.S. law. In “Florida Panther” Wikipedia explains that the panther’s status has for years been the center of controversy between real estate developers, environmental organizations and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). USFWS, mandated under the Endangered Species Act to protect the Panthers, instead used misleading data to allow extensive real estate development in Panther habitats.
Finally a panel known as the Florida Panther Scientific Review Team (SRT) was formed to evaluate the “science” USFWS used to justify development encroaching on living space necessary for panther survival. And that panel “identified serious problems in panther literature, including mis-citations and misrepresentation of data to support unsound conclusions.” A USFWS biologist, Andrew Eller, joined a group known as PEER, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, to file a Data Quality Act complaint. They were able to prove that “agencies continued to use incorrect data after it had been clearly identified as such.” Of course, agency heads fired Eller for his testimony.
But when Data Quality Act officials ruled against them, the USFWS finally admitted that the agency had continually used incorrect “science” to determine habitat boundaries for Florida Panthers. And they reinstated Eller. Moreover, in two white papers, two environmental groups, the National Wildlife Federation and the Florida Panther Society, documented “the link between incorrect data and financial conflicts of interest,” and proved that real estate moguls developed land that should have been well protected for this endangered species.
Authors John Kostyack and Karen Hill, wrote one paper, “Giving Away the Store: Facing Mounting Scientific Criticism, The Federal Government Continues to Approve Development in the Panther’s Last Remaining Habitats.” They argue that this panther is “one of the most endangered mammals in the United States, with less than 100 individuals living in the wild. And they point out that Fish and Wildlife officials “typically approved habitat destruction without ensuring that developers adequately avoid, minimize, or compensate for the harm caused.” Moreover, they establish that developers “exerted substantial political pressure on agencies,” and used errant “scientists” to legitimize their goals.
How disgusting! Truly, as Apostle Paul argues in 1 Timothy 6: 10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” If there was ever a need for plus size Christian t-shirts designed with Florida Panther logos, this is it! The need also is to get the miscreant actors involved saved!