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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

Does your child's Sophie the Giraffe toy have mold inside it?

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
A mom cleaning a Sophie the Giraffe toy discovered "smelly, ugly mold living in my infant's favorite chew toy."
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Blue Monday: Is today the most depressing day of the year?

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
<p>It's said that the third Monday in January is the gloomiest day of the year as people come down from holiday highs. But, is Blue Monday a myth?</p><p><br></p>
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

8 times Michelle Obama inspired us to live our healthiest lives

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
From the example she set with her own personal fitness to the powerful way she impacted others to get active and eat healthy, Michelle Obama left a mark on our country over the past eight years.
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

How Your Morning Coffee Might Slow Down Aging

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
<p>A new study found that older people with low levels of inflammation had something surprising in common: they were all caffeine drinkers.</p>
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Alcohol actually tricks your brain into thinking you're starving

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
It's 4 a.m., and you're staggering home from the bar when you see the sign: Taco Bell, your oasis of sodium and saturated fat, is beckoning. A
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Victoria Beckham Regrets Breast Implants—And She's Not Alone

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
The number of women removing their breast implants is growing rapidly.
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Is It Safe to Make Desserts and Drinks Out of Snow?

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
<p>Pinterest and Instagram are full of recipes that use actual snow, but is it safe to consume those freshly fallen flakes? The answer may surprise you.</p>
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Jessica Alba's The Honest Company recalls baby product

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
<p>Testing found that The Honest Company's organic baby powder had possibly been contaminated with microorganisms, "including some species associated with skin or eye infections."</p>
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

This Is Exactly When You're More Likely to Catch the Flu

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
Flu outbreaks tend to strike about a week after the winter's first cold spell, researchers say.
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

You May Be At Greater Risk For A Heart Attack Than You Know

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
With a new five-stage system of classification, researchers suggest that many Americans may be at risk for a heart attack despite not having obstructed arteries.
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Cotton Swabs Officially Declared Bad for Your Ears

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
Experts agree: Stop sticking things in your ears.
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

The 1 spot in your kitchen that may be dirtier than a toilet

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
<p>The dirty truth about the 5 germiest places in your kitchen and solutions for how to clean them up</p>
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Should You Wash New Clothes Before You Wear Them?

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
Yes! Even if the garment is brand new, clothes are kept with preservatives during shipping (hello, formaldehyde resin). So, wash it — then you can wear it.<br>
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

The good, bad and unknown about marijuana's health effects

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
It can almost certainly ease chronic pain and might help some people sleep, but it may also raise the risk of getting schizophrenia and trigger heart attacks.
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Research Says Serving Yourself Can Make You Eat Healthier

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
Take the matter of your eating habits into your own hands.&nbsp;
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in Winter

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
Exercising outdoors in the winter offers many benefits that beat workouts in a warm gym. And we like this "burning more calories" part.
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Battle the Bulge Without the Gym: 10 Indoor Workouts for Winter

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
Winter weather puts an end to running and other outdoor activities, but there are plenty of ways to work out indoors without paying for a gym membership.
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn

Why A New Exercise Routine Makes You Unbelievably Sore

What's Hot in Health - س, 10/28/1395 - 03:16
Good on you for sticking with your New Year's exercise routine,&nbsp; but we'll bet you have a case of the DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness).
گروه ها: Health Feed, msn
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