Focus on the Global South

From Bad to Worse: A Roadmap to Global Burning

Notes for Understanding the Lima Outcome


Demonstrators at the COP20 climate conference in Lima, Peru call on world leaders to “stop funding dirty energy.” (Photo: Climate Action Network/cc/flickr)

The “Lima call for climate action” which came out of the recent UN climate talks, establishes a roadmap to a post-2020 agreement that will be weaker than the ongoing Cancun Agreement (for 2012-2020), and it lays a foundation for an even worse agreement in Paris in 2015.

The Cancun Agreement opened the door to dismantling the Kyoto Protocol, pushing for voluntary “pledges” instead of increased mandatory “commitments” for emission cuts.

The bottom-up approach of the Cancun Agreement has failed. Four years since its adoption in 2010, there is a big gap in emission cuts of around 12 gigatons of CO2e by 2020. The “business as usual” scenario for global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 is 57 gigatons of CO2e. The Cancun Agreement has reduced that figure only by one or two gigatons, and we need to be below 44 gigatons by 2020 in order to be on a pathway that limits the increase in global temperature to 2º C.

The emissions gap for this decade was not reduced at all during COP20 (the 20th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC) in Lima, Peru. This makes it impossible to catch up with a 2º C pathway in the next decade, since, according to reports from sources like  UNEP’s Gap Report and the Stockholm Environment Institute, the global peak year should happen before 2020. This situation is even worse because China announced in its agreement with the United States that it will only reach peak emissions by 2030.

The Lima text prefigures the outcome of the Paris agreement on the basis of the same laissez-faire logic of “do what you want” when it comes to emission cuts established by the Cancun Agreement. The Paris agreement will replace the term “pledges” with “contributions” for emission cuts in the post-2020 period and continue with the same logic.

The Lima text invites “all Parties to communicate their contributions “by the first quarter of 2015 by those Parties ready to do so.” How those Parties that are “ready to do so” will communicate their “contributions” is left to their own criteria: “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCs) “may include, as appropriate, inter alia, quantifiable information on the reference point (including, as appropriate, a base year), time frames and/or periods for implementation, scope and coverage, planning processes, assumptions and methodological approaches including those for estimating and accounting for anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions…”

The annex on how to report INDCs is dropped from the final decision. It blatantly deletes the proposals of developing countries to have two different tracks for reporting INDCs (one for developed and another for developing countries), plus a clear scope that should include mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, finance, technology transfer, and capacity building. The scope of INDCs is now mainly around mitigation, with no explicit difference between developed and developing countries.

The last-minute addition of “the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances” is a copy-paste from the US-China agreement and has no concrete implications in the different articles of the Lima text. This general mention of common but differentiated responsibilities is like putting on your left blinker when you are really turning to the right. The Paris agreement will dilute more and more the historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions of developed and emerging economies. The United States and China have an agreement to erase their responsibility in the climate chaos they created.

The final Lima text “urges developed country Parties to provide and mobilize enhanced financial support to developing country Parties.” In previous versions, it called on all Parties to mobilize financial support. “All Parties” denotes that even developing countries will “mobilize” financial support for other developing countries, losing the principle of developed countries’ “historical responsibility.” This text was so bad that it clearly had to be unacceptable and therefore changed to “developed country Parties” instead of “all parties.” It is important to note though that for developed Parties, the term “mobilize” means that financial support can come not just from the public sector, but also from the private sector, carbon markets, and development bank loans.

And in the end, despite all the nice speeches, there are no references to loss and damage or to human rights in the final decision, and the references to adaptation, finance, transfer of technology and capacity building are very general.

The Lima text “acknowledges the progress made in Lima in elaborating the elements for a draft negotiating text,” and attached this text as the only annex of the decision. It states that “These elements for a draft negotiating text reflect work in progress” and includes different proposals for the Paris agreement. Some delegations consider that their proposals have not been fully captured as “options” in the 39 pages and 103 paragraphs of this text. Nonetheless, the text reflects the key scenarios that will be considered for the Paris agreement.

An analysis of the different options shows that the best proposals in the text are far behind from what is really needed to address climate change. Here are some examples:

1) Mitigation contributions will be voluntary, and the new emissions gap for the post-2020 period will be known after the first quarter of 2015 if the big emitters communicate their contributions. There will be no real negotiation in Paris about the heart of the climate agreement, which should be the magnitude of emission cuts and how consistent they are with limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5º C or 2 ºC. One month before COP21 in Paris, the secretariat of the UNFCCC will prepare a “synthesis report on the aggregate effect” of the INDCs. In the “elements” text, there are no proposals that say that commitments from all Parties – taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities – should assure global emissions of less than 40 gigatons of CO2e by 2025 to limit the average global temperature increase to below 2 °C[1]. The most advanced proposal speaks in general about “a global emission budget to be divided among all Parties, in accordance with the principles and provisions of the Convention,” however without specifying an amount or a timeline. There are also regressive proposals that move negotiations backwards by moving the base year for emission cuts from 1990 up to 2010, which will in reality hide the weak percentages on emission cuts.

2) In the entire text, there is no proposal from any country to leave 75% or 80% of known fossil fuel reserves under the ground, something that must be done if we want to limit CO2 emissions to a pathway of less than 1.5 or 2º C. In the 1,892 lines of the text, there is only one mention of “fossil fuels” – regarding a proposal to phase out “fossil fuel subsidies” – and there are only general mentions of “reductions in high-carbon investments.” No mention at all is made of the need to limit extractive industries.

3) There is no reference at all in the text to the need to change our current patterns of production and consumption. The different proposals focus on reductions of emissions produced in a country, and not the emissions consumed in a country. Actually, one-third of CO2e emissions associated with the goods and services consumed in developed countries are being emitted outside the borders of those nations, mostly in the developing world. It is not enough to reduce emissions in developed countries if they do not also reduce their consumption of products that generate CO2e emissions in other parts of the world.

4) There is no proposal for a strong compliance mechanism for climate change mitigation commitments. What happens if a big polluter fails to cut emissions on time and damages a vulnerable country is not considered in the text. No mention is made of a mechanism to demand and sanction governments and corporations for their inaction. All the options in the text consider only processes of review or assessment. A climate agreement without a strong compliance mechanism is just a political declaration.

5) In the negotiating text for the Cancun Agreement, there were proposals to recognize and guarantee the rights of Mother Earth as a clear expression that, in order to deal with climate change, humans must change our relationship with nature: stop treating it as an object and preserve its vital cycles. Now, in this negotiating text, the proposal of rights of Mother Earth is not even being considered. A single mention is made of “the protection of the integrity of Mother Earth,” and only once does the need to “respect human rights” come up – on the same level as “the right to development.”

6) No proposal is included from any country that suggests carbon market mechanisms should be avoided in the Paris Agreement to ensure that a country really fulfills its commitment to make emission cuts without buying offsets. The text instead mentions several different kinds of carbon markets and carbon pricing:

a) “Flexibility mechanisms established by Articles 6 and 12 of the Kyoto Protocol,” which means that this protocol will no longer exist after 2020, but its carbon mechanism will continue

b) “New market-based mechanism defined in decision 2/CP.17, paragraph 83”

c) “Subnational, national and regional emissions trading schemes”

d) “A REDD-plus mechanism”

e) “In meeting their commitments/contributions/actions, Parties may make use of market mechanisms and actions in the land-use sector” which opens the door to Climate Smart Agriculture

7) On the other hand, when it comes to “loss and damage,” there are proposals to exclude any reference on this issue affecting vulnerable countries that are already suffering from climate change.

8) In relation to finance, the most radical proposal appears only once: “Annex I Parties / Developed country Parties to provide 1 per cent of gross domestic product per year from 2020,” which represents around $450 billion per year. The rest of the proposals speak about $50-100 billion per year, and some say there should not be a specific figure. There is no proposal from any country to reduce global military expenditures – which reached $1,747 billion dollars in 2013 – in order to attend to the climate emergency. At this stage, it is clear that by 2020, developed countries will not provide anywhere near $100 billion dollars per year to developing countries. When it comes to the source of finance, there is a clear trend toward favoring the approach of “mobilizing” (instead of providing) money from public, private and “alternative sources” like carbon markets.

9) The “elements” text has a real push for private investment: “A mechanism to attract the private sector to invest in projects,” “public-sector finance to catalyze and avoid crowding out private-sector investments, ensuring that private-sector investment is not displaced,” “the governing body (of the agreement) shall develop modalities for leveraging and freeing up private finance to support the implementation of this agreement,” etc. And there is no option that says that private investment should be controlled and restricted in order to avoid profiting and grabbing from climate disasters.

10) The legal status of the expected Paris agreement is still under debate. It could be a “protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome.” This “agreement” will be open “for signature and subject to ratification, acceptance or approval,” which gives the United States the possibility to not have Congress ratification for this “agreement”.

11) Finally, no proposal is included from any country proposing to ban or avoid forms of geo-engineering, in particular Carbon Capture and Storage, which has been considered as an option in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change. This is extremely dangerous, because proposals like achieving “net zero emissions or full decarbonization by 2050” with no mention of leaving 80% of fossil fuel reserves under the soil can open the door to the use of these technologies in the Paris “agreement.”

In synthesis, an “agreement” that does not close the emissions gap for this decade, that continues with voluntary contributions with no clear targets for the next decade, has no strong compliance mechanisms and more cheating carbon market mechanisms, puts the future of humanity and life as we know it on our planet Earth in serious jeopardy.

[1] The executive summary of the UNEP The Emissions Gap Report 2013 states: “In the scenarios assessed in this report, global emission levels in 2025 and 2030 consistent with the 2° C target amount to approximately 40 GtCO2e (range: 35–45 GtCO2e) and 35 GtCO2e (range: 32–42 GtCO2e), respectively. In these scenarios, global emissions in 2050 amount to 22 GtCO2e (range: 18–25 GtCO2e). These levels are all based on the assumption that the 2020 least-cost level of 44 GtCO2e per year will be achieved.”

Pablo Solón is the Executive Director of Focus on the Global South. He was the former Bolivian ambassador, under the Evo Morales government, to the United Nations. As ambassador to the UN, he became known as a tireless advocate for the rights of nature; he delivered the now famous speech explaining why Bolivia chose to “stand alone” by not signing the Cancun climate agreement in 2010. Before holding this post, he had been a social activist involved in indigenous movements, workers’ unions, student associations, human rights and cultural organizations in his native Bolivia. He is also extensively involved in the global justice movement.


Global Consumption of ‘World’s Dirtiest Energy’ Continues to Rise

‘Attempts to combat global climate change will likely fail’ in face of ever-increasing coal use, warn researchers

Lauren McCauley

The mountaintop Kayford coal mine outside of Charleston, West Virginia. (Photo: Dennis Dimick/cc/flickr)

As worldwide coal consumption continues to rise, efforts to keep global warming below the 2 degrees Celsius warming threshold will very likely fail, warns environmental research group Worldwatch Institute in a new analysis of coal data.

Global coal consumption rose 3 percent from 2012 to 2013, reaching over 3,800 million tons of oil equivalent (mtoe) in 2013, according to numbers provided to Worldwatch by BP. 

Further troubling, according to the analysis, is that the world’s coal supply is getting “dirtier” as continued demand and lower prices create markets for coal with lower energy content. For example, in 2012, “the average heat content of coal produced in the United States was about 23.4 megajoules per kilogram (MJ/kg), down from 29.17 MJ/kg in 2005,” the group notes.

“This means that more and more coal needs to be burned to generate the same amount of heat for a desired electricity output.”

And according to the Worldwatch analysis, emerging economies, such as China and India, are the primary drivers of increasing coal consumption. Coal demand in China has almost tripled since 2000, notes the group, rising from 683.5 mtoe at the turn of the century to 1,933.1 mtoe in 2013—more than half of the global figure.

In contrast, the United States has decreased its coal use while becoming increasingly reliant on domestic oil and natural gas production. In 2013, the U.S. consumed 455.7 mtoe of coal. However, despite efforts to reduce its own carbon emissions, recent studies have shown that the U.S. continues to export coal and its related pollution to other countries. According to an Associated Press analysis published this summer, in 2012, about 9 percent of worldwide coal exports originated in the U.S.

Coal consumption in the European Union has also followed a downward trend in recent years, which the analysis attributes to “the EU’s flat overall energy consumption since 1990” and an increasing shift towards renewables driven largely by policy and financial incentives.

Although the report acknowledges that the pace of growth for coal use is slowing, researchers warn that the trend will likely come too late in the face of international climate inaction.

“If coal consumption continues to increase and no meaningful binding multilateral agreements on climate change are made, attempts to combat global climate change will likely fail,” writes Christoph von Friedeburg, a research fellow at the Worldwatch Institute. “One source of hope is that the combination of decreasing energy intensity and declining costs of renewables will cause coal’s share to keep shrinking and stop the global rise in the use of the dirtiest energy source.”

International Jewish Rothschild Banking Cartel- The Synagogue of Satan

International Jewish
Rothschild Banking Cartel
(The Synagogue of Satan)

The Jewish House of Rothschild, headquartered in the CITY of London, UK,
is the richest and most powerful transnational empire on Earth. This small cabal of International Jewish
Bankers owns and
controls 1/2 of the world’s accumulated wealth; roughly 500 TRILLION Dollars. Gold is their currency.
International Fascist Rothschild JEWRY
is THE source of ALL evil, war, death, terrorism and environmental destruction in our world.

Anti-Christ will be JEW.

To ETERNAL HELL-FIRE they will ALL be (forcibly) cast at the Judgement- SELAH

Rothschild Video Linx:

1. Rothschild’s Gold
2. Rothschild’s Choice (10 part series) by Texe Marrs
3. Lord Rothschild: King of England-The World’s Master Banker
4. Rothschild and the US Federal Reserve
5. The Rothschild’s Exposed- 3 part series

6. Rothschild: The World’s Wealthiest Family
7. Rothschild’s World
8. The Rothschilds
9. The Jewish House of Rothschild
10. Rothschild Zionist Temple Mount Israel 666 WWIII
11. Economic Collapse- Rothschild Style
12. Criminal Rothschilds
13. International Rothschild Bankers
14. Rothschild Jews Control the World
15. The Bloody Rothschilds/David Icke
16. The Rothschilds/Michael Collins Piper

Int’l Rothschild Jewry Website Linx:

1. Real Jew News
2. Power of Prophecy
3. Jeff Rense Zionism Page
4. Who’s Who of the Global Elite
5. International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
6. American Free Press
7. Radio Islam
8. Jews Against Zionism
9. Jews for the Preservation of Firearms
10. Be Wise As Serpents
11. The Hidden History of Zionism
12. Rothschild and the Zionist Agenda
13. Rothschild Zionism
14. Anti-Christ Conspiracy for World Conquest
15. Zionist Seizure of World Power
16. The Piper Report

Books on the Rothschild Empire:

1. The Synagogue of Satan, by Andrew Hitchcock
2. The Ruling Elite: Zionist Seizure of World Power, by Diana Spingola
3. The Ruling Elite: A Study in Imperialism, Genocide and Emancipation, by Diana Spingola
4. The Ruling Elite: Death, Destruction and Domination, by Diana Spingola
5. Hidden History of Zionism, by Ralph Schoenman
6. Who’s Who of the Global Elite, by Gaylon Ross
7. The Elite Control Everything of Significance, by Gaylon Ross
8. What Will it Be? An Elite Global Union or an Islamic Caliphate?, by Gaylon Ross
9. The Hidden Evil: The Financial Elite’s War Against the Civilian Population, by Mark Rich
10. 4th Reich of the Rich, by Des Griffin
11. Conspiracy of the 6 Pointed Star, by Texe Marrs
12. Global Conspiracy (And How to End it), by David Icke
13. Empire of the City, by EC Knuth
14. Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion:
Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion
15. The Turner Diaries, by William Luther Pierce
The Turner Diaries, by William Luther Pierce
16. The New Jerusalem AND GOLEM: Israel’s New Hell Bomb and the Road to Armageddon, by Michael Collins Piper
The New Jerusalem AND GOLEM: Israel’s New Hell Bomb and the Road to Armageddon, by Michael Collins Piper

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Prophet’s Article Archive

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
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

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

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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:

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.

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.

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

See Url:


Pope Francis: First Latin American, Jesuit Pope Picked to Head Church; Praised for Work with Poor
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Tom Roberts, editor-at-large for the National Catholic Reporter and author of The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community’s Search for Itself.
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National Catholic Reporter
National Catholic Reporter Profile of Pope Francis
Transcript |

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was picked Wednesday to become the first pope from Latin America and the first not to hail from Europe in more than 1,000 years. Bergoglio is viewed as a theological conservative who has staunchly opposed abortion, same-sex marriage and the ordination of women, but he has been praised for his devotion to the poor. We speak to Tom Roberts, editor-at-large at the National Catholic Reporter and author of “The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community’s Search for Itself.” [includes rush transcript]
This is viewer supported news

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: A papal conclave has selected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to be the new pope. He replaces Pope Benedict XVI, who shocked the Catholic Church last month when he became the first pontiff to resign in almost 600 years. Bergoglio is the first pope from Latin America and the first not to hail from Europe in more than a thousand years. He’s also the first to come from the Jesuit order of priests, which is known for its work on social justice.

On Wednesday, the new Pope Francis took to the balcony of St. Peters wearing an unadorned white robe. He briefly addressed the thousands of Catholic pilgrims waiting to greet him.

POPE FRANCIS: [translated] Brothers and sisters, good evening. As you know, the duty of the conclave is to give Rome a bishop. It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world, but we are here. First of all, I would like to pray for Benedict, our bishop emeritus. We pray all together for him for God to bless him and for the Madonna to hold him.

AMY GOODMAN: Pope Francis is viewed as a theological conservative who staunchly opposed abortion, same-sex marriage and the ordination of women. Here in the United States, the Jubilee USA Network praised his selection for his devotion to the poor. In Argentina, he’s long been dogged by reports he aided the military dictatorship in the ’70s.

Later in the broadcast, we’ll go to Argentina to speak with a leading investigative journalist who has written extensively about the role of the new pope during Argentina’s military dictatorship. But we begin our show with Tom Roberts, editor-at-large at the National Catholic Reporter, author of The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community’s Search for Itself. He joins us from Kansas City, Missouri.

Tom, welcome to Democracy Now! Give us a thumbnail history of the new pope, Pope Francis.

TOM ROBERTS: Well, he is 76 years old, which puts him on sort of the older end of the scale for a new pope. He was educated in Argentina and also in Rome and Germany. He kind of embodies that mix of European and developing world, First World and developing world sensibilities. He is a Jesuit. And as you mentioned earlier in the lead-up, a lot of firsts in this one: the first Jesuit, the first non-European in a long, long time. He’s the first one to be named Francis. And so, it’s an interesting—he’s an academic. He started life as a—pursuing a career in chemistry, decided to join the Jesuits, rose quickly in their ranks. He was named a bishop by John Paul II, I think in 2001, and then rose to the ranks of cardinal. So he’s been around for quite a while. He’s been in leadership positions, but not in Rome and not in the Vatican bureaucracy. So, it is, again, a very interesting choice because of all the firsts and the fact that he’s outside of the normal wheel of Vatican influence and that culture.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Tom, the significance again of some of these breakthroughs here, these firsts, specifically about the—him being a Jesuit? Obviously, the Jesuits have always been considered the intellectuals or the philosophers of the church. Way back in the colonial period, the Spanish monarchy expelled them from the Americas because of their role, their social role. That particular significance?

TOM ROBERTS: Well, I think that for any order priest—it’s significant for any order priest to be elected pope—I don’t know how many of them there have been—but especially Jesuits, who have a particular charism, have been big players in the church through history. And they are noted for, you know, intellectual accomplishments, for raising institutions of higher learning, and for the social justice component. I mean, they’ve been strong social justice advocates in many areas of the world.

I think the other thing that is distinctive—and this has nothing to do with him being a Jesuit as much as it does an approach toward ecclesiology and also what it means to be a religious leader—is the way he lives. When he became a cardinal, became bishop of Buenos Aires, he didn’t take the big mansion. He gave up the driver and the car. He takes the bus to work, as they say, often takes the equivalent of the subway. He really does live a life identified with the poor. He lives in a simple apartment, cooks his own meals, and has really been identified with a very, very strong social justice current in Latin America. He has used language about the inequalities between countries and talks about Argentina as one of the most unequal places in the world, talks about the unjust distribution of goods as a social sin.

So, there are a lot of characteristics to him that don’t fit any categories, except that he comes from the Global South, and there we find leaders, religious leaders, who have very, very strong social justice instincts, even though, on many of the issues, as you’ve noted, he would be considered a theological conservative, which would not be rare, by the way, for any of those cardinals. I mean, you’re not going to find a liberal or someone that—somebody in the developed North would call liberal on those issues in that conclave.

AMY GOODMAN: And finally, Tom Roberts, the significance of him choosing the name Francis, Pope Francis, for Francis of Assisi?

TOM ROBERTS: Yes, and he made it clear that it was for Francis of Assisi and not Francis Xavier, one of the early Jesuits. The significance, I think, cuts a number of ways. First of all, I think that it’s a recognition, if Francis is used as a reform figure, for the—the recognition of the need for reform in the church, a getting back to the gospel. He doesn’t like—and it’s been pretty well chronicled—doesn’t like rigid clericalism. He doesn’t like all the fuss of elaborate clothes. Again, simplicity is the order for him. And he came out in a plain white cassock, none of the—none of the other frills that can go along with that first entrance.

The other thing he did was he bowed in prayer to the group, to the crowd before him, and asked them to pray for him first before he gave them his blessing, which is a significant sign of humility. And the other thing he did, which I think was very endearing to Catholics worldwide, was that he asked them to pray with him, and he prayed very familiar prayers—you know, the Our Father and the Hail Mary. Catholics worldwide are familiar with those. And so, it was a meeting of someone we could understand. This was not elevated theology. This was not, you know, a triumphal entry. This was a very humble “Walk with me,” as he said. “Let’s begin this journey together, and let’s pray the simple prayers that we all know. And before I, as pontiff, bless you, pray for me.” So it was a really different—a different entrance of a new pontiff, introduction of a new pope.

AMY GOODMAN: Tom Roberts, we want to thank you for being with us, editor-at-large at the National Catholic Reporter, author of The Emerging Catholic Church: A Community’s Search for Itself. When we come back, we’re going to Buenos Aires to speak with the leading investigative journalist, Horacio Verbitsky, to talk about the role that the new pope, Pope Francis, played during the 1970s, during what is known in Argentina as the “dirty wars.” Stay with us.

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