Wednesday, April 12, 2017

G7 energy ministers fail to agree statement on climate change because of 'US reservations'

G7 energy ministers have failed to agree a statement on climate change this afternoon because of 'US reservations', it has emerged.

Top officials from the Group of Seven industrial nations gathered in Rome, Italy today amid growing concerns over the US administration's moves to unravel policies aimed at stalling global warming.

Environmental activists fear US President Donald Trump is dismantling Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which aimed at reducing carbon pollution from power plants.

Greenpeace was holding a sit-in outside Monday's meeting, calling on officials to maintain their commitments to reduce greenhouse gases under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

However, the US 'reserved its position' on the text about commitments made by G7 countries under the Paris accord, said Carlo Calenda, the Italian minister for economic development, who chaired the meeting in Rome.

The ministers' agenda had called for discussion of energy security, policies to move away from coal, natural gas routes and supply, sustainable development of electricity sources, alternative fuel scenarios and energy access and investments in Africa.

Lacking unanimity, Italy, which currently presides the Group of Seven, decided against proposing the joint statement, Calenda said.

The Paris Agreement, endorsed by members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is a bedrock of international action against man-made global warming.

It vows to cap warming to 'well below' two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to late 19th-century levels - an effort that scientists say will require massive cuts in carbon emissions from coal and other fossil fuels.

It also pledges to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in aid for poor countries badly exposed to drought, flood, rising seas and other climate impacts.

In March, President Donald Trump signed an executive order rolling back some of the previous Democratic administration's policies on carbon emissions and climate change.

Experts have said his plan, which eases emissions limits for coal-fired power plants and scraps more stringent vehicle pollution standards, almost guarantees that the US will fail to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Trump has also said he does not intend to honour promises made by the administration of his predecessor, Barack Obama, to provide financial aid under the Paris accord.

However, Trump's team is also deeply divided on whether to withdraw from the pact, according to US media reports. On March 30, the White House said a decision on whether to withdraw would be made ahead of the G7 summit in Italy in late May.

Under Obama, the United States, the second biggest carbon polluter, provided critical impetus for the Paris deal by concluding a precursor deal with China, the number one emitter.

The Group of Seven, gathering the biggest western democracies, comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.


Lawmakers Should Invoke the Nuclear (Reprocessing) Option

When President Jimmy Carter issued a federal ban on the reprocessing of nuclear waste in 1977, he thought it was a sensible trade-off that erred on the side of public safety. In hindsight, however, it was an abysmally bad move. While many politicians continue to demonize atomic energy, France has shown that nuclear waste processing can safely yield major benefits: It has enabled that country to sell billions of euros in electricity to other countries each year. It’s an instructive example that the United States should follow, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II.

“Reprocessing both reduces nuclear waste significantly and lowers the cost of nuclear-generated power,” Shughart writes in the Salt Lake City Tribune.

Nuclear waste reprocessing reduces but does not eliminate the need for a deep-storage site. Lawmakers should therefore get the $32 billion Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility back on track for completion, after former Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) unplugged it. “Implementing reprocess and finishing a waste repository take time,” Shughart writes, “but spent nuclear fuel is a commodity too precious to waste.”


Manual Provides Eco-Terrorism Tips on How to 'Make Someone's Life Hell'

A new eco-terrorism manual has been published and is being sold online by Earth First! Journal, which calls itself “the voice of the radical environment movement."

The new Direct Action Manual (3rd Edition) provides tips activism ranging from “soft pranks” to vandalism that will result in arrest:

“The DAM is almost 300 pages of diagrams, descriptions of techniques and a comprehensive overview of the role direct action plays in resistance—from planning an action, doing a soft blockade, putting up a treesit or executing a lockdown; to legal and prisoner support, direct action trainings, fun political pranks, and more. The DAM has been compiled and updated by frontline activists from around the US to help spread the knowledge and get these skills farther out in the world.”

Here are just some of the terrorist tips provided in the manual, according to

“The possibilities are really endless, and you should let your imagination run wild,”

“Slashed tires, paint stripper, and sand in the gas tank can certainly make them think twice,
“You’ll be sure to make someone’s life hell.”
“Fundraise ahead of time to put money aside for bail or bond.”
“the staggering forces of greed push consumerism and the wholesale destruction of the Earth to unheard of levels.”
The manual also provides instructions on how to:

Turn off lights and water at someone’s home or business,
Make stink bombs, and
Utilize dead animals as “critter bombs.”

The quarterly Earth First! Journal bills itself as a publication for news about the Earth First! Movement “and other radical environmental groups”:

“The Earth First! Journal is the voice of the radical environmental movement. Published quarterly, it contains reports on direct action; articles on the preservation of wilderness and biological diversity; news and announcements about EF! and other radical environmental groups.”



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