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Friday 20 August 2004 - can't breathe man

Not content with killing Iraqis and poisoning their environment with depleted uranium shells, the Bush administration also failed to warn the American public of long-standing evidence that the twin towers collapse would release toxins and make the air unsafe to breathe. The EPA failed on at least a dozen occasions to change its safety assurances even after it became clear people were getting sick, and failed to enforce safety requirements among workers on the Ground Zero clean-up effort. Last year the EPA, in an internal report by its Inspector General Nikki Tinsley, said the White House pressured the agency to make premature statements that the air was safe to breathe.

The EPA issued an air quality statement on Sept. 18, 2001, even though it 'did not have sufficient data and analysis to make the statement,' the EPA report said, adding that the White House 'convinced the EPA to add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones.' Among the information withheld was the potential health hazards of breathing asbestos, lead, concrete and pulverized glass. The Sierra Club report ['Air Pollution and Deception at Ground Zero: How the Bush Administrationís Reckless Disregard of 9/11 Toxic Hazards Poses Long-Term Threats for New York City and the Nation,'] said hundreds of people were seriously ill as a result of breathing contaminated air after the buildings fell. It said much of the dust was as caustic as ammonia and had an effect akin to drinking drain cleaner. While news stories emerged as early as October 2001 about firefighters suffering from something called 'World Trade Center Cough,' most people outside New York are unaware of the wide range of workers and community people who have been afflicted by Ground Zero pollution.

French scientists who carried out a study of more than 500 infants found that a child whose home was near a fuel station or vehicle-repair garage was four times as likely to develop leukemia as a child whose home was further away. And the longer a child had lived nearby, the higher the risk of leukemia seemed to be, showed the research, published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal. I expect house prices near petrol stations will drop if this news ever gets out to the 'media' and parents start moving.

Indonesian environment activists wore orang-utan masks during a performance of a boxing match in front of the Thai embassy in Jakarta on August 19, 2004. The protesters marched to the embassy to protest against the smuggling of endangered orang-utans to Thailand. Thai police recently shut down a Bangkok zoo infamous for its kick-boxing primates. Could this be the one featured by Planet Ark and the Fool? Wild orang-utans are now only found in the jungles of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Wednesday 18 August 2004 - feelings

The picture below shows two young Orang Utans in World Safari Park, Thailand. The image has been haunting me for days, they are clearly traumatised, sad, confused and unhappy. They are trying to comfort each other. Worry is etched on their faces, the puckered mouth of the one on the right says it all. They were most likely taken from their mothers in the wild and have ended up in a cage in this appalling place where they will eventually be 'trained' to engage in boxing matches complete with gloves and shorts, as entertainment for their tourist cousins who will come to watch and giggle. We have such compassion for our own kind, yet so little, it seems, for others, however close their dna. I emailed them at to let them know what I thought and felt about their behaviour.

After Boscastle in Cornwall got washed away by torrential rain, now Scotland is getting it and the helicopters are out again rescuing people from rooftops, and roads are turned into raging rivers. The scenes from Boscastlet seemed almost poetic, as if the planet was responding to global warming by washing cars, one of the major causes, away downstream and to the sea. Wonder how many helicopters are available, it could become a full time job.

Sunday 15 August 2004 - we all live in a chemical soup, now where's that yellow submarine?

The numbers of sufferers of brain diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and motor neurone disease, have soared across the West in less than 20 years. The rise includes rates of dementia which have trebled in men, and has been linked to rises in levels of pesticides, industrial effluents, domestic waste, car exhausts and other pollutants, a report in the journal Public Health states. 'This has really scared me,' said Professor Colin Pritchard of Bournemouth University, one of the report's authors. 'These are nasty diseases: people are getting more of them and they are starting earlier. We have to look at the environment and ask ourselves what we are doing.' The report covered the incidence of brain diseases in the UK, US, Japan, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain in 1979-1997. The researchers compared death rates for the first three years of the study period with the last three, and discovered that dementias more than trebled for men and rose nearly 90 per cent for women in England and Wales and all the other countries surveyed. For Parkinson's and motor neurone disease, there had been a rise of about 50 per cent in cases for both men and women in every country except Japan. The increases in neurological deaths mirror rises in cancer rates in the West. The fact that people are living longer has been allowed for, and also the fact that diagnoses of such ailments have improved. The Guardian

Thursday 12 August 2004 - two for the price of one

Sounds like Florida is in for a treat, two hurricanes meeting up on the beach and having a party. Called Bonnie and Charlie [why not Clyde, too much mayhem?] they are due today, and people are as usual nailing boards over windows, stapling the car to the drive and tieing the dog to the furniture. At least dogs don't have a bad time in the US, unlike their friend south Korea where they are still eaten by the throwback race who often use illegal methods to kill the dogs - beating, burning or hanging to tenderise the meat. The government says these practices are illegal and most dogs are killed humanely, yeah right, that's what government's always say, along with 'it's our culture'. Truth is, this barbaric backwater of evolution is involved in breeding dogs especially for eating and, whereas in the UK people who harm dogs are a despised sub-species while most have moved on to an enlightened attitude to one of the most beautiful and evolved animals on the planet, in Korea the sickos are the population. A perfect target, therefore, for the rapidly evolving new strains of bird flu being cooked up in other overcrowded, backward places like Hong Kong and China where they also eat dogs, puppies especially being thought a delicacy. With any luck the killer virus will come along soon and clear up the human scum. I suppose the PC air-heads would defend the right of Koreans and Chinese living in the UK to eat dogs as part of their culture.

Wednesday 11 August 2004 - depends on your point of view

Flash flood warnings out for a lot of the UK again, too much concrete, too many river flood plains built on, too much rain.

Didn't take them long to justify and then legalise human cloning. Scientists [especially micro-biologists] would prefer it if democracy didn't demand revelation of the details of their work, any more than the animal vivisectionists wish people to know the horrors they subject animals to. Best we don't know and keep raising and donating money to keep their grants topped up while they continue to fiddle about. All of it is sold to the public on alleged medical benefits, further pampering to the fear of death which seems to dominate much thinking on the ethics. If it means less or no animals are subjected to the current obscenity of 'testing' I don't care much about what happens to humans either existing or potential, so I'm unmoved by the usual 'pro-life' arguments. I'd always thought there were a too many clones around already.

Tuesday 10 August 2004 - the drugs keep coming round

In the last decade, prescription of anti-depressants has surged in Britain, overall prescriptions of antidepressants rose from 9 million to 24 million a year. But now traces of Prozac have been found in the drinking water supply, setting off alarm bells for thos concerned with potentially toxic effects. This indicates that Prozac doesn't break down in the sewage treatment process or in the water environment, which further suggests that it will continue to build up in the water supply as long as people take it. We are all thus forced into taking it whether we want to or not, presumably politicians aren't too concerned as a Prozac-soaked population is likely to be more compliant, less critical. Enforced drug taking doesn't stop there, babies, already assaulted by the MMR vaccine are now to be given a five in one shot at two months old. No defender of this policy is ever asked why the vaccines can't be delivered separately, and the only reason I have been able to discern is bureaucratic; it's more efficient and has less chances of one or more of the vaccines being missed by parents, all of whom are judged by the medical profession [still male dominated] to be at best forgetful, and at worst, abusers of their own children. They are therefore not thought capable of making informed decisions so the quacks don't think it worth informing them of anything. And then they act all hurt and surprised when increasing numbers of parents distrust everything they say.

To justify this five-in-one approach, we are told the vaccines are much better now and don't contain mercury, as if anyone in their right mind would consider giving a babay mercury, one of the most toxic heavy metals on the planet. So to encourage us to trust them, they come out with 'it's less poisonous now' and seem incapable of understanding that this further incriminates them as being willing to risk babies' lives to prove their theories, while blustering on about babies dieing from the diseases these vaccines protect against. Some of us are old enough to remember when there were very few vaccines and kids usually caught all the so-called 'childhood diseases' that are now so life threatening and survived.

But then kids also played in the dirt from an early age, there wasn't the modern obsession with cleanliness and their immune systems were robust. Now, as part of the male-dominated chemical medicine regime we are apparently all forced to live under, the few deaths that resulted from such things as measles, mumps and whooping cough are used to justify wholesale poisoning of the population, which is certainly no more healthy now than in the past, and arguably less healthy. It's pretty clear that those affected by the vaccines would probably have been the ones most affected by the disease, a genetic minority. But to assault a small baby's immune system when it's barely started up [and is relying on antibodies from the mother's milk] with a cocktail of vaccines, is so intuitively wrong that only the stupid or controlling could fail to realise it. Even fit, grown men were made very ill with this approach during the 'first Gulf war' and the government is still denying Gulf War Syndrome exists and refusing compensation to those whose lives have been ruined.

Friday 6 August 2004 - cradle of humanity is basket case of the world

Virunga National Park which straddles the borders of eastern Congo, Rwanda and Uganda is home to looming volcanoes, pristine rainforests and the majestic mountain gorilla [Virunga was featured in the film 'Gorillas in the Mist']. The World Heritage Site has grown more dangerous as a decade of violence ripped through the heart of Africa, starting with the 1994 Rwandan genocide. A five-year regional war in the Democratic Republic of Congo supposedly ended last year, but militias at the heart of the fighting still use the park as a base for incursions into all three countries, which also keep armies in the forest. 'It's a soup of militias and troops all doing the same thing, launching raids and attacking villagers,' said Robert Muir, project director for the Frankfurt Zoological Society's conservation program, based in nearby Goma. 'Conservation in the park is not fun at the moment. People are being shot and killed. It's more dangerous guarding the park now than during the war.' 93 Congolese guards have been killed in eight years.

Thousands of Rwandans poured across the border in May and June, slashing and burning 6 square miles of forest, according to U.N. experts, conservationists and local residents. Centuries-old forest has been reduced to splintered logs, charred black pits and mounds of tilled land abandoned by the squatters when they left. In the remaining forest, elephants, chimpanzees and buffalo roam, but the flattened bald scar stretching over hillsides offers only the buzz of insects and a few birds dipping between the clumps of trees left standing amid the destruction. Virunga is only 164 square miles of habitat and 355 of the world's 700 gorillas live in Congo, so losing even 6 square miles is huge. The settlers were seen being trucked from Rwanda and ordered by Rwandan army commanders to cut down the forest in Congo's Mikeno sector. The land was cultivated and cattle introduced. Each person was paid the equivalent of $1 a day for the work, according to villagers and conservationists. The forest clearance was halted in late June after Western diplomats and conservation groups pressured the Rwandan government to intervene. The settlers and cattle were driven out, but the damage had been done. Satellite imaging shows Rwanda has fixed heavy weapon encasements in the Congolese section of the park.

Rwanda is a tiny, denuded country and one of Africa's most densely populated despite the genocide they inflicted on themselves ten years ago. Having cut down all their own trees, they seem hell bent on destroying forest in neighbouring countries, and will doubtless want aid from the rest of the world when the population is starving due to all its resources being spent on guns, and its environment incapable of growing food. If anyone were interested in changing Africa's 'basket case' nations such as Rwanda, a good place to start would be the arms trade. Gangs of men with guns roam the continent, stealing, burning, raping and destroying as they go. The few bits of untouched forest left in a continent which was still described as 'darkest Africa' a half century ago, are extremely vulnerable to these gangs of phychopathic hominids, who should be starved of the weapons which make them feel like 'big men'. If the west was interested in anything but its addiction to oil, it would be using its helicopter gunships to clear the bush of this human detritus both in Rwanda, Sudan and other places where it's been happening for decades. But instead, resolutions will be worked on, committees will meet, protests will be voiced but nothing will be done.

London, one of the world's mega cities, is unable to withstand a heavy rainstorm these days, and millions of tons of raw sewerage were pumped out into the Thames after the recent storms, rather than having it flowing in the streets and ruining the tourist trade. As a result, all fish in the river [along with other wildlife] were killed, and authorities were busy getting them out of the river before they started to smell. As flash floods are definitely a part of the new weather patterns, this is going to happen again and again. A feature of London's Victorian-built sewer system is that it is linked to the rainwater drainage system, so is vulnerable to any flooding that occurs. The chances of an entirely new system being built under this sprawling, non-sustainable monstrosity is nil. Yet the politicians see greater London growing inexorably and taking up most of the southeast of England eventually, and are embarked on massive house building which means more land under concrete and more shit to get rid of daily. Not much joined up thinking going on still. London, New York and Tokyo are just the three biggest cities facing flooding from rising sea level, the Thames is tidal. All major cities are built by natural harbours, rivers etc. they are all close to sea level.




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