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Postcard from Thailand - a polluted paradise

Greenpeace International - س, 10/30/1416 - 07:44

The tiny island of Koh Samet is about 2 km off the coast of the Thai mainland and has the long pale beaches, forests and beautiful geography made famous by the 2000 hit film, The Beach

Right now though the fine, white sands of the island and clear, blue waters that surround it are being turned sticky and black by crude oil which spurted out of a pipeline operated by PTT Global Chemical.

The spill started Saturday morning from about 20 kilometres southeast of the Map Ta Phut seaport on the southern shore of the mainland. PTT, the state-owned administrator of PTT Global Chemical, tried to downplay the full extent of the leak by claiming that the oil slick had "effectively been dissolved".

This claim proved to be untrue after unrefined crude started blackening the immaculate beaches of Koh Samet as PTT Global Chemical admitted 50,000 litres of unrefined crude had been spilled into the waters of Phrao Bay.

Making matters worse, Thailand is not capable of handling the oil spill, Deputy Premier Plodprasop Suraswadi conceded to the Bangkok Post. Speaking via a government spokesman, he added that authorities should seek help from nearby Singapore.

For a region identified by Greenpeace Southeast Asia Thailand Programme Manager Ply Pirom as the "nation’s food basket", this news is bleak.

Bleaker still when you realise that this spill is just one of more than 200 spills that have happened in Thai waters in the past three decades, effectively putting the region's ecosystem in the crossfire of big oil companies and meagre oil spill mitigation resources.

Greenpeace East Asia has been closely monitoring the situation and have deployed a rapid response team to document the impact of the spill, particularly in the National Marine Park area that includes Koh Samet.

Greenpeace is now demanding that PTT Global Chemical be held financially liable for the cost of cleaning and restoring the natural environment and is mobilising the public through an online petition. It's time for the Thai government to review its energy policy and put an end to oil drilling and exploration in the Gulf of Thailand.

The paradox of a country known for its staggering natural beauty but still heavily reliant on fossil fuels in its energy policy is counterintuitive. Especially when the availability of affordable, clean, renewable energy is taken into consideration. 

It is up to us all to put pressure on policymakers, oil companies and their shareholders to end our reliance on fossil fuels. It may be too late to draw a line in the oil-soaked sands of Koh Samet – as we have in the ice in the Arctic – but we can rally to make this the last oil spill we see.

You can help by signing our petition.

گروه ها: Conservation Feed

South Korea tramples human rights and ignores lessons from Fukushima

Greenpeace International - س, 10/30/1416 - 07:44

Today is the International Human Rights Day and what better way to mark it than by launching a court case against injustice in South Korea.

With so many countries moving away from nuclear power in recent decades, and many more rushing to abandon it in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, South Korea remains one of the last withered feathers in the nuclear industry’s cap. Both the South Korean government and the industry are fighting tooth and nail to keep it that way by silencing criticism.

Since establishing an office in Seoul in April 2011, Greenpeace East Asia has witnessed the South Korean government’s willingness to ignore the lessons of Fukushima and has experienced first hand its efforts to silence those speaking out against its nuclear programme.

Between November 2011 and October 2012 six Greenpeace East Asia and Greenpeace International staff were denied entry to South Korea. They were flown back to where they came from and given no official or personal explanation as to why. Official inquiries and freedom of information requests have been met with a similar stony silence.

The only option left open to us was to challenge the government’s actions in blocking our staff from entering the country in court, which we did today.

Challenging the South Korean government’s unjust actions is important, as Greenpeace is not alone in facing this treatment. Other groups, including South Korea’s People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), have been met with similar tactics when they began speaking out.

“Similar to Greenpeace's anti-nuclear campaign staff, at least 25 peace activists opposing the construction of the Jeju naval base were deported or denied entry since 2011,” said Gayoon Baek, a coordinator of the International Solidarity Committee at PSPD, while standing in solidarity with us at the court today.

"The South Korean government is increasingly using denial of entry as a means to crush activist criticism – a clear violation of the internationally recognised right to freedom of assembly and expression.”

As a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), South Korea has an obligation to defend the right to free speech, freedom of expression and freedom of information. Instead, it is choosing to silence those who raise their voices in opposition to its reckless nuclear programme, restricting the information its citizens have access to.

South Korea currently has 21 nuclear reactors, and is planning to build 11 more, despite the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi once again proving the massive risks that this technology poses to public, environmental and economic health.

It is only right that the people of South Korea are given all the information they need to make an informed decision about their collective future. By cracking down on peaceful anti-nuclear groups, the South Korean government is instead cutting them off from the information they need to be properly informed about the risks of nuclear power.

Stopping peaceful NGOs and activists from participating in public debate in this manner is a violation of Article 19 of the ICCPR, is inconsistent with Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is a threat to the integrity of South Korea’s democracy.

With so much invested in its nuclear plants, and with many more reactors planned, it is clear that the nuclear industry has a dangerous choke hold on South Korea’s political system.

To protect the quality of its democracy and to ensure its people have both the necessary information and a choice to move towards a nuclear-free, renewable energy future, the South Korean government must immediately cease its crackdown on those who criticise its policies. It's time for the government to allow the energy discussion debate.

Pino Lee is a nuclear campaigner with Greenpeace East Asia and is based in Seoul, South Korea.

 

گروه ها: Conservation Feed

China rolls out world's largest amphibious aircraft

Yahoo! News: Technology News - 2 ساعت 28 دقیقه پیش

BEIJING (AP) — An official news agency says China has unveiled the world's largest amphibious aircraft that Beijing plans to use for marine missions and fighting forest fires.


گروه ها: yahoo

FCC Pushes Carriers To Offer Robocall Blockers To Consumers: Will They Finally Act? - Tech Times

Sci/Tech - Google News - 2 ساعت 28 دقیقه پیش

Tech Times

FCC Pushes Carriers To Offer Robocall Blockers To Consumers: Will They Finally Act?
Tech Times
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has written a letter to the CEOs of major telecommunications companies to urge the implementation of robocall blocking systems. Will the companies finally do so? ( Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images ). Advertisement. In an open ...
FCC chief asks telcos to offer free robocall blocking servicesEngadget
U.S. asks phone companies to provide 'robocall' blocking technologyBusiness Insider
The FCC wants robocall-blocking technology, and it wants it yesterdayDigital Trends
Herald and News -The Hill -Federal Communications Commission
all 23 news articles »
گروه ها: google

Warner, Marvel wow Comic-Con with blockbuster previews

Yahoo! News: Entertainment News - 2 ساعت 45 دقیقه پیش

Two of Hollywood's biggest studios went head-to-head at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday in an epic battle to demonstrate which has the best upcoming superhero movies. Warner Brothers -- still smarting from the lukewarm reception for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" -- presented a star-studded lineup ahead of Marvel's showcase later in the day. Its first exclusive of the session was a sneak peek at "Wonder Woman," which saw Gal Gadot's Amazonian princess leaving her lush island to stop the First World War.


گروه ها: yahoo

'Keanu': Watch the hilarious comedy hit

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گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Watch Season 6 of 'Walking Dead'

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20 easy ways to cut 500 calories a day

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<p>You won't even notice the difference.</p>
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The scientific reason you hate coffee or love it

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<p>Ever wonder why coffee makes some people jittery, while others can sleep after downing a double-espresso? it's in our genes.</p>
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

That occasional cigarette is still really bad for you

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گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

40 reasons you'll want to go gluten-free

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<p>As it turns out, unlike many of the other diet fads that come and go, reducing gluten can actually have a remarkable impact on our overall health and our weight loss efforts.</p>
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Here's what really happens if you don't floss

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We all know we should, but what happens when you don't?
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Here's the age you peak at everything throughout life

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&nbsp;A range of studies examine how our physical and mental traits, ranging from strength to smarts, change as people rack up birthdays.&nbsp;
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Workouts that keep burning cals long after you hit the shower

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<p>So you can reap rewards all the live-long day.</p>
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn
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