Archive for May, 2013

Portland Oregon rejects water fluoridation

AP foreign, Wednesday May 22 2013

Associated Press= PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The mayor of Portland, Ore., has conceded defeat in an effort to add fluoride to the city’s drinking water.

With more than 80 percent of the expected ballots counted late Tuesday night, the Multnomah County election website showed the fluoride proposal failing, 60 percent to 40 percent.

Mayor Charlie Hales supported fluoridation and said “the measure lost despite my own ‘yes’ vote.

“That’s sure disappointing, but I accept the will of the voters,” he said in a statement.

Fluoridation foes were delighted.

“We’re very excited with how the numbers look,” said Kellie Barnes with the anti-fluoride group Clean Water Portland.

If the early returns hold up, “then Portlanders spoke out to value our clean water and ask for better solutions for our kids.”

Voters in Portland twice rejected fluoridation before approving it in 1978. That plan was overturned two years later, before any fluoride was ever added to the water.

The City Council voted last year to add fluoride to the water supply that serves about 900,000 people. But opponents quickly gathered enough signatures to force a vote on the subject.

Rejection of the proposal would keep Portland the largest U.S. city without fluoride in the water or with plans to add it. San Jose, Calif., — which is larger than Portland — has been working to add fluoride to its water supply.

Voters had weeks to make their choice in the mail-ballot election. By Tuesday it was too late to rely on the postman, so drop boxes were placed across the city to accommodate those who waited until the final day.

“We were still getting ballots from drop sites close to 8 p.m.,” said Eric Sample, a Multnomah County elections spokesman. That meant a “pretty darn long night” of vote counting that likely would stretch into Wednesday, he said.

Supporters and opponents of fluoridation raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and traded accusations of sign-stealing and shoddy science in an election that has been the city’s most contentious of the 21st century.

A sampling of voters dropping off ballots earlier Tuesday in rainy Pioneer Courthouse Square found people opposed to fluoridation.

“People don’t like change. When in doubt, say no,” said Tracy Rauscher, a native Portlander who, like a native Portlander, did not use an umbrella.

Portland’s drinking water already contains naturally occurring fluoride, though not at levels considered to be effective at fighting cavities. Backers of fluoridation say adding more of it to the water is a safe, effective and affordable way to improve the health of low-income children whose parents don’t stress proper nutrition and dental hygiene.

Opponents describe fluoride as a chemical that will ruin the city’s pristine water supply, and they argue that adding it would violate an individual’s right to consent to medication.

Although most Americans drink water treated with fluoride, it has long been a contentious topic. In the 1950s, fluoridation was feared as a Communist plot. Today, people worry that its effect on the body has not been sufficiently examined.

“I don’t want chemicals in my water,” Sarah Lazzaro said after voting Tuesday. “I know that there are really no known health risks with it, but there’s a lot of things we find out later in life really do have health risks.”

The issue re-appeared on Portland’s radar late last summer, when health organizations that had quietly lobbied the City Council for a year persuaded the panel to unanimously approve fluoridation by March 2014.

Days before the vote, 227 people — most of them opponents — signed up to testify at a public hearing that lasted 6 1/2 hours. When their objections weren’t heeded, they quickly gathered tens of thousands of signatures to force Tuesday’s vote.


Climate Change and Wildfire

Climate Change and Wildfire
May 21, 2013 — Concerns continue to grow about the effects of climate change on fire. Wildfires are expected to increase 50 percent across the United States under a changing climate, over 100 percent in areas of the West by 2050 as projected by some studies. Of equal concern to scientists and policymakers alike are the atmospheric effects of wildfire emissions on climate.


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16A new article published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management by U.S. Forest Service scientists synthesizes recent findings on the interactions between fire and climate and outlines future research needs. Authored by research meteorologists Yongqiang Liu and Scott Goodrick from the Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) and Warren Heilman from the Northern Research Station, the article homes in on the effect of emissions from wildfires on long-term atmospheric conditions.

“While research has historically focused on fire-weather interactions, there is increasing attention paid to fire-climate interactions,” says Liu, lead author and team leader with the SRS Center for Forest Disturbance Science. “Weather, the day-to-day state of the atmosphere in a region, influences individual fires within a fire season. In contrast, when we talk about fire climate, we’re looking at the statistics of weather over a certain period. Fire climate sets atmospheric conditions for fire activity in longer time frames and larger geographic scales.”

Wildfires impact atmospheric conditions through emissions of gases, particles, water, and heat. Some of the article focuses on radiative forcing from fire emissions. Radiative forcing refers to the change in net (down minus up) irradiance (solar plus longwave) at the tropopause, the top of the troposphere where most weather takes place.

Smoke particles can generate radiative forcing mainly through scattering and absorbing solar radiation (direct radiative forcing), and modifying the cloud droplet concentrations and lifetime, and hence the cloud radiative properties (indirect radiative forcing). The change in radiation can cause further changes in global temperatures and precipitation.

“Wildfire emissions can have remarkable impacts on radiative forcing,” says Liu.

“During fire events or burning seasons, smoke particles reduce overall solar radiation absorbed by the atmosphere at local and regional levels. At the global scale, fire emissions of carbon dioxide contribute substantially to the global greenhouse effect.”

Other major findings covered in the synthesis include:

•The radiative forcing of smoke particles can generate significant regional climate effects, leading to lower temperatures at the ground surface.
•Smoke particles mostly suppress cloud formation and precipitation. Fire events could lead to more droughts.
•Black carbon, essentially the fine particles of carbon that color smoke, plays different roles in affecting climate. In the middle and lower atmosphere, its presence could lead to a more stable atmosphere. Black carbon plays a special role in the snow-climate feedback loop, accelerating snow melting.
Land surface changes may be triggered that also play into future effects. “Wildfire is a disturbance of ecosystems,” says Liu. “Besides the atmospheric impacts, wildfires also modify terrestrial ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, soil fertility, grazing value, biodiversity, and tourism. The effects can in turn trigger land use changes that in turn affect the atmosphere.”

The article concludes by outlining issues that lead to uncertainties in understanding fire-climate interactions and the future research needed to address them.

Papers Please: TSA-Style Checkpoints at UK Bus & Train Stations

Papers Please: TSA-Style Checkpoints at UK Bus & Train Stations

Posted By admin On May 22, 2013 @ 8:03 am In Featured Stories,Tile | 22 Comments

‘Airport-style’ harassment to “help people who use public transport feel safer.”

Steve Jolly
May 22, 2013
Travel by train, tram or bus to destinations in central England and you are increasingly likely to be greeted by Britain’s ‘yellowjackets’: the high-visibility uniforms of Britain’s police force.

Image: Sandwell Police
‘Airport-style’ security checkpoints are being rolled out at local bus and train stations up and down the UK after local pilot schemes conducted over the last two years were deemed a success by police.

The checkpoints comprise metal detector arches, drug-sniffing dogs , police pat-downs and bag searches. The reason? To “help people who use public transport feel safer.”

Over the last couple of years more and more of these ‘security’ checkpoints have been quietly introduced at local bus and train stations across the UK under a number of pretexts that simply don’t bear up to scrutiny.

One such stop-and-search operation last week (May 15th) at West Bromwich bus station in the West Midlands, was captured in this short video clip showing a police officer rifling through a man’s pockets [1] [1] while he holds up his wallet for potential inspection. The other photographs here were tweeted by Sandwell Police on the day.

According to the police this operation and others like it are not related to the ongoing mission creep that police so often attempt to justify with their trump card of ‘terrorism’; instead they represent an increasing shift towards ‘pro-active’ policies which threaten to become a part of everyday policing in Britain today. This Youtube clip shows a ‘Day of Action’ by Sandwell Police, who took to Twitter to explain that,”the aim of this operation is to reduce crime and anti social behaviour and offer community reasurance (sic) and assist in any prosecutions,” [specifically to] “focus on drugs and anti-social behaviour.”

Quite how emptying people’s pockets can reduce ‘anti-social behaviour’ is not clear, but by the end of the day the police were busy tweeting the day’s results:

Image: Sandwell Police
“Drugs dog [2][2] at West Bromwich bus station. Lots of people stopped but no drugs found.”

The tweets continued, “We’ve had some nice feedback regarding our ‘day of action’. Thanks for your support. No crime has been reported in West Bromwich town today!”

So, with no drugs found and no crime of any kind reported, what possible value could there be in stopping and searching hundreds of law-abiding citizens? Perhaps the following tweet provides one of several possible answers: “20 people have been checked on the police national computer (PNC). Some have previous convictions for robbery so intelligence has [been] submitted.”

Leaving aside the obvious injustice of stopping and searching everybody ‘just in case’ one or two people turn out to be guilty of some wrongdoing, these indiscriminate fishing expeditions are neither an effective way to ‘catch criminals’ nor to ‘keep us safe’.

Last week’s ‘day of action’ at West Bromwich bus station is by no means a one-off, and this apparently crime-free bus station is no stranger to such police operations. In 2010 Sandwell Police launched a ‘Safer Travel’ scheme called Safer Six, a pilot scheme carried out in six towns across the region over a six week period spanning October and November. It too was branded as a “community reassurance” exercise designed “to help people who use public transport feel safer,” as one local Sergeant put it. More specifically the police explained, “Our aim is to detect people who are carrying weapons.” This video [3] [3] shows the travelling public being herded through a metal detector arch (often described by police in Orwellian terms, as “safety arches”) before being stopped, searched and sniffed up by a police drugs dog. The operation was repeated in the autumn of 2011 and again in 2012 and was considered so successful that it is now being rolled out across the entire West Midlands region on a permanent basis. A press release [4] [4] by West Midlands Police in January 2013 states that:

“Airport-style metal detectors popped-up at West Bromwich bus station yesterday as a police blitz on knife crime continued. Around 500 commuters of all ages passed through the portable devices – known by police as knife arches – in just four hours.”

Image: Sandwell Police
Just how successful was the operation then? Well, about as ‘successful’ as last week’s ‘day of action’:

“No knives or other illegal items were recovered in the operation. No arrests were made,” the press release reveals.

Perhaps all the knife-wielding criminals managed to avoid detection by not using buses and trains for the full six weeks? Well no, it seems that knife-wielding criminals are a bit thin on the ground in West Bromwich, as the police acknowledged:

“The decision to set up the knife arches in West Bromwich wasn’t based on there being large instances of knife crime in the town, but part of an ongoing and broader safety programme which will be replicated at bus, tram and train stations across the entire West Midlands in the coming days.”

Once again we are told that we must sacrifice our rights and freedoms in the name of ‘safety’, even though police admit that the supposed risk of harm is somewhat negligible and not the real focus of the operation anyway.

If the success of the operation is not judged by the number of arrests made, or the quantity of drugs and weapons seized, or the number of dangerous criminals taken off the streets, then what is the purpose of these exercises? Perhaps the phrase “public reassurance” could be more accurately expressed another way. How about “conditioning the public to accept the ever-growing police state by normalising such unnecesssary and demeaning security theatre.” Or “exploiting dubious safety fears to deprive citizens of their fundamental rights and freedoms.” Or how about “inverting the centuries-old fundamental legal principle that we are all ‘innocent until proven guilty’ by treating us all as suspects, demanding that we prove our innocence.” I could go on…

The following line from a well known novel accurately describes policing in Britain today:

“For distances of less than 100 kilometres it was not necessary to get your passport endorsed, but sometimes there were patrols hanging about the railway stations, who examined the papers of any Party member they found there and asked awkward questions.”

(George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four).

The truth is that these police operations aim to condition the public to accept, submit and grow accustomed to what is essentially an unlawful stop and search.

Section 1 of PACE [5] (Police and Criminal Evidence Act) [5] does allow ‘Stop and Search’, but only if the police have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect that someone has committed a crime, as explained in PACE Code of Practice ‘Code A’ (.pdf [6]) [6]. The Code says, “There must be an objective basis for that suspicion based on facts, information, and/or intelligence which are relevant to the likelihood of finding an article of a certain kind” and “Reasonable suspicion cannot be based on generalisations or stereotypical images of certain groups or categories of people” [such as ‘users of public transport’] “as more likely to be involved in criminal activity.”

A police officer needs ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect you are carrying a weapon, drugs or stolen goods, or that you are a terrorist. Can any of these justifications be applied to an entire arrivals terminal at a transport hub? No, of course not.

Since checkpoints like these are being applied en masse to people whom the police have absolutely no “reasonable grounds” to suspect of criminality, the police cannot lawfully compel people to submit to such searches. Therefore the public must be doing so “voluntarily,” although somehow I suspect that they are not told this.

In the upside-down Orwellian world that we now inhabit, the only real criminals identified at West Bromwich bus station during their ‘day of action’ are the police themselves. Substitute the term ‘brownshirts’ for ‘yellowjackets’ and you get the picture.

To quote the Russian novelist who provided the original inspiration for George Orwell’s dystopian classic, ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’:
“When a man’s freedom is reduced to zero, he commits no crimes. That’s clear. The only means to rid man of crime is to rid him of freedom.”

– Yevgeny Zamyatin, ‘We’.

Steve Jolly is a campaigner, journalist and spokesman for the campaign group No CCTV [7]. He has written for the London Guardian, Big Brother Watch and Infowars. His successful campaign against ‘Project Champion’ – a police surveillance operation in Birmingham UK – forced the Chief constable to publicly apologise, scrap the scheme and remove 216 surveillance cameras from parts of the city. He was nominated for a Human Rights Award in 2010 and appeared before the UK parliament to give evidence on the Protection of Freedoms Bill about new CCTV laws. Steve writes and gives media interviews about camera surveillance and related issues.


[1] Youtube video: [1]

[2] Photo on Sandwell Police Twitter feed: [2]

[3] Youtube video fof Safer Six operation by Sandwell Police: [3]

[4] Press release by Sandwell Police: [4]

[5] [5]

[6] [6]

Related posts:

1.TSA Expands Invasion To CA Train Stations & Bus Terminals [8]
2.Police In UK City Set Up “Baghdad Style Checkpoints” [9]
3.TSA VIPR Squads Roam Florida Train Stations [10]
4.TSA Now Occupy CA Train Stations & Bus Terminals [11]
5.TSA now setting up Nazi-style “VIPER” security checkpoints at bus terminals [12]


Article printed from Prison

URL to article:

URLs in this post:

[1] police officer rifling through a man’s pockets:

[2] Drugs dog :

[3] This video:

[4] press release:

[5] Section 1 of PACE:

[6] .pdf:

[7] No CCTV:

[8] TSA Expands Invasion To CA Train Stations & Bus Terminals:

[9] Police In UK City Set Up “Baghdad Style Checkpoints”:

[10] TSA VIPR Squads Roam Florida Train Stations:

[11] TSA Now Occupy CA Train Stations & Bus Terminals:

[12] TSA now setting up Nazi-style “VIPER” security checkpoints at bus terminals:

Stressed Ecosystems Leaving Humanity High and Dry

Published on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Inter Press Service Stressed Ecosystems Leaving Humanity High and Dry
by Stephen Leahy

A man hauls water at the Chico Mendes landless peasant camp in Pernambuco, Brazil. (Credit: Alejandro Arigón/IPS)UXBRIDGE, Canada – Everyone knows water is life. Far too few understand the role of trees, plants and other living things in ensuring we have clean, fresh water.

This dangerous ignorance results in destruction of wetlands that once cleaned water and prevented destructive and costly flooding, scientists and activists warn.

“We have accelerated major processes like erosion, applied massive quantities of nitrogen that leaks from soil to ground and surface waters and, sometimes, literally siphoned all water from rivers.” — GWSP’s Anik BhaduriAround the world, politicians and others in power have made and continue to make decisions based on short-term economic interests without considering the long-term impact on the natural environment, said Anik Bhaduri, executive officer of the Global Water System Project (GWSP), a research institute based in Bonn, Germany.

“Humans are changing the character of the world water system in significant ways with inadequate knowledge of the system and the consequences of changes being imposed,” Bhaduri told IPS.

The list of human impacts on the world’s water – of which only 0.03percent is available as freshwater – is long and the scale of those impacts daunting.

“We have accelerated major processes like erosion, applied massive quantities of nitrogen that leaks from soil to ground and surface waters and, sometimes, literally siphoned all water from rivers, emptying them for human uses before they reach the ocean,” Bhaduri said.

On average, humanity has built one large dam every day for the last 130 years, which distorts the natural river flows to which ecosystems and aquatic life adapted over millennia. Two-thirds of major river deltas are sinking due to pumping out groundwater, oil and gas. Some deltas are falling at a rate four times faster than global sea level is rising.

More than 65 percent of the world’s rivers are in trouble, according to one study published in Nature in 2010. Those findings were very “conservative” since there was not enough data to assess impacts of climate change, pharmaceutical compounds, mining wastes and water transfers, Charles Vörösmarty of the City University of New York previously told IPS.

Recently, China’s First National Census of Water discovered they’d lost more than 28,000 rivers compared to just 20 years ago. Most experts blame the loss on massive overuse and engineering projects to shift water from one region to another.

“We treat symptoms of environmental abuse rather than underlying causes…by throwing concrete, pipes, pumps, and chemicals at our water problems, to the tune of a half-trillion dollars a year,” said Vörösmarty, who is also co-chair and a founding member of the GWSP.

As these problems continue to mount, the public is largely unaware of this reality or its growing costs, he said in a release.

Protecting and investing in natural infrastructure is far cheaper than concrete and pipes, representing the smarter solution to water security. This approach also benefits tourism, recreation and cultural benefits, improved resilience and biodiversity conservation.

World experts are meeting in Bonn, Germany this week to consolidate this understanding and offer policy makers solutions to prevent ongoing damage to the global water system.

The Water in the Anthropocene conference will also make recommendations on how decision makers can adapt to the multiple challenges of growing water use, declining ecosystems and climate change.

The public and policy makers are not aware of these huge water challenges, said water expert Janos Bogardi, senior advisor to GWSP. Education aside, there is an overwhelming need to have well-defined global water quantity and quality standards that meet the needs of people, agriculture and healthy ecosystems.

The upcoming U.N. Sustainable Development Goals are expected to include “water security”, which is huge step forward, Bogardi told IPS.

“Defining these interrelated needs is huge challenge for scientists and politicians alike,” he said.

Reasonable daily water use to meet sanitary needs and drinking is 40 to 80 litres, but U.S. per capita daily use is over 300 litres, while Germany is 120 litres. In urban Hungary, where water is relatively expensive, consumption is 80 litres/day.

But how much water does nature need?

GWSP scientists’ best guess at this point is that taking 30 percent to 40 percent of a renewable freshwater resource constitutes “extreme” water stress which could tip an ecosystem into collapse. This can be mitigated if water is returned and recycled in good quality. Mining fossil groundwater resources is by definition non-sustainable.

“We have to be careful that the water security goal is truly sustainable for ecosystems,” Bogardi said.

It is not clear that the Sustainable Development Goal on water will “simultaneously optimise water security for humans as well as for nature”, said Vörösmarty.

“The water sciences community stands ready to take on this challenge. Are the the decision makers?” he asked.

UN Warns of World Without Water

Published on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Common Dreams UN Warns of World Without Water
“Under current trends, future demands for water will not be met.”
– Andrea Germanos, staff writer

(Photo: Tim J Keegan/cc/flickr)The world is on track to run out of water, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned.

He issued the message on Wednesday, the International Day for Biological Diversity, whose theme for 2013 is Water and Biodiversity.

“Although seemingly abundant, only a tiny amount of the water on our planet is easily available as freshwater. We live in an increasingly water insecure world where demand often outstrips supply and where water quality often fails to meet minimum standards. Under current trends, future demands for water will not be met,” he said.

As the UN and others have noted, if current water consumption levels continue, by as soon as 2025 1.8 billion people will live in areas with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population may live under water stressed conditions.

To achieve water security, biodiversity is essential, the UN’s message emphasized.

“Biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides are central to achieving the vision of a water secure world,” the UN chief continued. “Ecosystems influence the local, regional and global availability and quality of water. Forests help regulate soil erosion and protect water quality and supply. Wetlands can reduce flood risks. Soil biodiversity helps maintain water for crops.”

“Integrating nature-based solutions into urban planning can also help us build better water futures for cities, where water stresses may be especially acute given the rapid pace of urbanization,” he said.

A report issued last year from the Defense Intelligence Agency also warned that the world’s freshwater supplies would not keep pace with the rising global demand for water — a situation that could soon bring water wars.

Letter to Bill McKibben and

May 22, 2013

TO: Bill McKibben and National

Ok, folks.
Time to lay it on the line.
To put it mildly, I’m the BEST thing you’ve got going.

The battle to fight and win (or lose) the fight against Global Climate Change will be decided (I predict within the next 2 weeks) by how you interface with me in this impasse we are currently having between us.

You will re-instate me as manager and main contact for both of these 350 groups i am trying to establish here in the USA:

1. santacruz350(dot)tk
2. summitcounty350(dot)tk

AND, you will take the IMMEDIATE Divestment from Fossil Fuels Campaign i have formulated to the Nation and to the World:
(particularily to the state of California where this global green revolution can begin)

I think it is absolutely INSANE NOT to support such an IMMEDIATE DIVESTMENT agenda recognizing the absolute EMERGENCY we are in with regards to the global climate change threat.

AND, i want the authority to “route” the fossil fuel funded police state ‘agent provacatuers’ that have infiltrated and largely taken over the Santa Cruz 350 group.

I will give you till June 8, 2013 to come clean with me.

You fail, and the trajectory for total climate collapse and resulting disasters pertaining therein will be “locked in” for the remaining time we have left on this planet. This will be the “tipping point” of NO RETURN.

Like it or not, I AM the messenger of the Covenent and the representative of the Creator of Heaven and Earth for this time on this planet.
The future of the global cliamte change threat and the future of this planet WILL be determined by the actions you take with me during our current impasse.
Its just the way it is folks, take it or leave it…

Failure to communicate with me by June 8 will be determined as a default decision by national to continue to “ban” me from the national/international 350 work that I AM trying to establish here on this planet at this time.


Steve Jones
aka- Jonas the Prophet
Global Environmentalist and Prophet
Colorado USA
***Prophet’s Linx:

=> prophetslinx(dot)tk


CC: select national/international groups and organizations


On Tue, May 21, 2013 at 1:37 PM, The Team wrote:

Dear Steve,

It’s come to our attention that you have been contacting various people on our staff about the reasons for your removal from the 350 Santa Cruz group administration.

To clarify: We removed your management access on’s web properties after a series of reports about alarming and negative behavior on your part while using’s name to represent your actions. These reports came from multiple quarters, both internal and external to the Santa Cruz group. While we understand that internal group conflicts do happen, it does not seem like this is a case of benign disagreements or infighting, as you claim.

Again, we thank you for your energy and dedication, but our decision on this matter is final. Please desist from contacting our staff members in relation to this decision.


The Team

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