How a Cup of Coffee Can Affect the World Water Crisis

Amyie Kao was born and raised in Oklahoma. She and her husband, Daniel, founded Mariposa Coffee, an artisan micro-roastery in Norman. Mariposa is built on the principles of giving back to community, roasting coffee with passion, and advocating for social justice. In 2013, Mariposa partnered with Water4, to put a water well in a C.O.E. coffee-growing region of Rwanda that brings 600 villagers access to clean water. 

Fukushima: I See Fire But No One Is Listening To The Warning

 If someone yells fire in building, everyone will leave the building and the fire department will come to put out the fire. Fire is visible, smoke smells bad, and it burns with great heat that can be felt. 

Multiple Fukushima radioactive fires are raging out of control underground. Many people are yelling fire, but no one is responding. Worse than that, most people either ignore or attack the person yelling fire or deny that there is even a fire. Why? 

A Green Road Project - Published on Feb 17, 2014 “A radioactive fire is invisible, it has no odor, it has no sound, and it has no feeling on the skin like the heat of a normal fire. Instead of killing quickly like a physical fire, radiation from an out of control radioactive fire (corium) attacks health slowly, over many years, killing from the inside, not the outside. The cause of a radioactive fire that kills people from within by cancer, leukemia, heart problems, diabetes, other health issues or 1,000 genetic diseases, is most often not even identified, but blamed on something else entirely.

There is an out of control radioactive fire raging at Fukushima, and it is growing worse and worse over time. That out of control radioactive fire at Fukushima has already poured an avalanche of radioactivity that will ‘burn’ millions and potentially billions of people from within over the next 10 to 20 years.

The Fukushima radioactive fire is pouring an avalanche of killing radiation into the Pacific, with no end in sight, and the amount of radiation is increasing exponentially over time. Fukushima in Japan is NOT in ‘cold shutdown’ and it is not being ‘decommissioned’.

The radioactive fires underground are raging, consuming all life. They are growing, becoming more intense, but the fire department has not even been called, and most people are ignoring it completely.”

The name of the song is “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran but it was performed by Rebecca Shearing. Her site is rebeccashearingofficial.com

World Bank Hands Inga 3 Dam Over to Private Sector

IR –  “International Rivers has learned that the World Bank has abruptly decided to develop the Inga 3 Dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a private investment through the International Finance Corporation, rather than as a public sector project. The Bank withdrew a US$73 million IDA grant for the project, which was scheduled for approval by its board of directors on February 11. The move will compound the problems of the World Bank’s biggest ever hydro-power project, and ensure the project will serve the interests of mining corporations rather than the DRC population.

According to internal sources, the IFC will support a private investment in the Inga 3 Dam by Chinese companies in a deal that was brokered by the administrator of USAID. International Rivers decries the World Bank’s decision for the following reasons:

  • The International Finance Corporation has a poor social and environmental track record. In recent months, the Corporation was admonished by its own ombudsperson for serious abuses in the Tata Mundra thermal power plant in India and the Dinant palm oil project in Honduras. The IFC does not have the safeguard policies or the expertise to ensure proper social and environmental impact assessments for this huge project. Handing the Inga 3 Dam over to the private sector will lead to further environmental shortcuts and compromises in the project.
  • The Inga 3 Dam would generate electricity for mining companies and the South Africa market, not for the more than 90% of the DRC population with no access to electricity. Expanding energy access for the Congolese population is a development priority, but is not of commercial interest to investors.  Handing the project over to a private investor will make it even less likely the country’s poor people would benefit from the project.
  • The IFC deal was arranged behind closed doors without any accountability to the DRC parliament, the World Bank’s board of directors, or civil society. It was reportedly brokered in a personal initiative by USAID administrator Rajiv Shah, just weeks after the US Congress instructed the US government to oppose supporting large hydropower projectssuch as Inga 3 through international financial institutions. Non-transparent deals such as the Inga 3 Dam are the best recipe for deepening corruption in the DRC. They will not strengthen the public accountability that is necessary for social and economic development.

Working with civil society partners in the DRC, International Rivers will continue to oppose destructive megaprojects such as the Inga 3 Dam, and will promote clean local energy solutions that are more effective at reducing poverty and protecting the environment.

Media contacts: Peter Bosshard, Policy Director, International Rivers, peter@internationalrivers.org@PeterBosshard

Learn More on International Rivers

Villagers Say Homes Destroyed by Olympics

Sochi’s Olympic make-over comes after years of construction work in and around the city. Many residents in the region say they’re paying the price for the Games.

Excerpts, NBC- “Atop a small mountain ridge just outside Sochi, 73-year-old Nadezhda Kuharenko’s small house stands in the middle of a vegetable garden.

“It’s like paradise here,” she said looking across the valley lined by green trees, snow-covered mountains in the horizon.

But her paradise is crumbling. Ever since construction for the Olympics began in 2009, huge trucks with heavy equipment have rumbled past her house in the village of Akhshtyr, leading to cracks in her home’s walls and a leaky roof.

Kuharenko is holding on, patching the roof with plastic foil and the walls with cardboard to keep the rain and wind out. But it’s barely working; her furniture has been ruined. Her pension of 6,800 rubles (about $200 a month) is not enough to fix her house.

“You can’t save anything from this pension, it’s not even enough for new clothing, barely enough for food,” she said. “And food has gotten more expensive since the Olympics have been announced.”

“I got nothing from the Olympics, just a crumbling house and health problems,” Kuharenko said.

Hers is not an isolated case. Villagers said that nearly all their houses have cracks as heavy trucks — as many as 250 per day — rumbled through the main street.

And they say they have been cut off from the neighboring village across the valley by the newly built Olympic road and railway.

Environmental activist Olga Noskovets, a member of “Green Russia,” an ecological faction of Russia’s Yabloko Party, said that the affected community members have a difficult time receiving help from authorities.

“In my experience, [authorities] do their best to gain time and complicate the process, which includes gathering costly and time-consuming expert reports to prove the damage,” she said.

Irina Vorovchkova even sued Olympstroi, the Russian state corporation overseeing all construction projects for Sochi 2014, over damages to her house.

She lost — and claimed the local courts are biased toward the Olympics.

“You don’t want to mess with the Olympic Committee,” she said. “The government doesn’t care, Putin just wants things to be his way. We are waiting, maybe after the Olympics we get some compensation.”

Full Story

Related: Sochi Workers Faced Rampant Abuses Building Olympic Sites

Sochi Whistleblower Flees Russia Amid Death Threats

Fighting for Biodiversity in the Central African Republic

Dialogue Worldwide – Political instability in the Central African Republic affects the region’s wildlife as well. Following a coup, the Dzanga-Sangha reserve can no longer be properly run. That’s opened the door to rampant illegal poaching. 

The rainforest of the Central African Republic is home to rare wild elephants, marsh antelopes and lowland gorillas which are protected by international organizations. But the country is one of the most politically instable places in the world. Following a coup, poachers and armed militias stormed the base of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the Dzanga-Sangha reserve earlier this year. The station was destroyed and around 30 elephants were killed. Until today, environmental activists and conservationists are unable to return to the park because the situation remains dangerous and chaotic.

It’s not just the local population that is suffering as a result, but also the region’s elephants, antelopes and gorillas. Poaching remains a highly lucrative business in the region as well as in the protected reserves in the neighboring states of Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Poor equipment, corruption and weak political will have complicated efforts to halt species loss in the DRC. However, there’s no dearth of funds to help protect biodiversity in the region. The International Climate Initiative (IKI), Germany’s government-owned KfW bank and other organizations have set aside millions to protect deforestation, illegal poaching and the exploitation of natural resources.

 

Teaming up to protect the Congo Basin

DW- “The Congo Basin has been called the “Green Heart of Africa,” a place where wildlife roams free among a vast and varied landscape of forests, savannas and swamps. Stretching across six countries, the basin boasts rare species like the bongo antelope and lowland and mountain gorillas, and it’s also one of the largest water and carbon storage reservoirs in Central Africa. But the region is also rich in valuable resources, from minerals to tropical timber, and the changing climate has put the entire basin at risk. Now, three countries – Cameroon, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – have come together to save the precious region from ruin. The International Climate Initiative and Germany’s development bank are providing the funds and support to help them do so.”

USGIF: Where Our National Security Begins

While I was searching for more information (specifically about James R. Clapper Jr.) to add to the The Menace of the Military Mind post last night, I stumbled across a rather interesting corpo-government website that provides a nice behind-the-scenes look at some of the movers, shakers and decision makers who are responsible for our ever-growing World Wide Spy Machine. Here are some bits & pieces of what I’ve browsed through so far…Enjoy! ~Reb

 United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, Inc

USGIF - “In 2003, a group of leading authorities realized an inherent need for a unified vision and approach to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft. This group created the successful GEO-INTEL 2003 conference—the predecessor to the annual GEOINT Symposium—and in early 2004 established USGIF. The Foundation’s mission was, and continues to be, to bring together government, industry, academia, professional organizations and individuals for the advancement of the geospatial intelligence tradecraft as it relates to national security.

Being the first and only organization of its kind, USGIF has helped to advance the tradecraft through its many events and programs, such as the highly acclaimed GEOINT Symposium and technology focused Tech Days. The Foundation currently has more than 200 sustaining member organizations supporting and assisting in executing the Foundation’s objectives. The Foundation also has made education a top priority, exemplified by its scholarships, college and university accreditation programs, grants to underprivileged K-12 schools and other initiatives.

USGIF is dedicated to bringing together the many disciplines involved in the geospatial intelligence sector to exchange ideas, share best practices and promote the education and importance of a national geospatial intelligence agenda.”

USGIF is located at 2325 Dulles Corner Boulevard, Suite 450, Herndon, VA 20171.

Download USGIF Fact Sheet

ProjectGEO- “Oct 23, 2012 In this special coverage interviewing USGIF President Keith Masback we dive into detail on several topics including what the USGIF is, it’s mission, and it’s impact on the GEOINT community. Keith also talks about the Young Professionals Group (YPG) and the GEOINT symposium. Watch the video to get exciting insight into the USGIF.

Keynote Speakers At GEOINT

(National Snitch-N- Snoop Convention?)

Keynotes for GEOINT 2013*

January 9, 2014 -Several speakers have reconfirmed their keynote addresses for the rescheduled GEOINT2013* Symposium, to be held April 14-17, 2014, at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla.

Confirmed speakers include:

• The Honorable James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence (DNI)
• LTG Michael T. Flynn, U.S. Army, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
• Ms. Letitia A. Long, Director, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
• ADM William H. McRaven, U.S. Navy, Commander, U.S. Special Operations
Command (USSOCOM)
• Ms. Betty J. Sapp, Director, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
• Mr. Robert Scoble & Mr. Shel Israel, Co-Authors, “Age of Context”

The annual GEOINT Symposium is the nation’s premier intelligence event. It offers a wealth of quality information, cutting-edge technologies, and top-notch activities that keep attendees coming back year after year. In addition to insightful keynote addresses and though-provoking panels with leaders from the Defense and Intelligence communities, the GEOINT Symposium provides attendees with an unparalleled opportunity to network at various social events and explore new technologies in a 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall.

GEOINTv 2012-Booth Tour Northrop Grumman (Video)

USGIF ACCOUNT LEVELS AND PRICING 

MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY

USGIF released its 2013 Membership Directory in the Q1 issue of trajectory magazine.

The directory contains brief descriptions and contact information for all 224 USGIF sustaining member organizations. The directory is also complemented by an online capabilities index, which lists more than 50 products and services the membership organizations provide.

Download the 2013 USGIF Membership Directory

USGIF BOARD MEMBERS

USGIF’s Africa Working Group Hosts First Event

Project Geo – S2 E6 – Apocalyptic Maps

Human Population Growth & Wildlife Extinction

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©Rebecca McFarland 2010

January 24, 2014 – “There are more than 7 billion people on the planet, and we’re adding 227,000 more every day. The toll on wildlife is impossible to miss: Species are disappearing 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the natural rate — the fastest rate since dinosaurs roamed the planet. We can reduce our own population and consumption to an ecologically sustainable level in ways that promote human rights; decrease poverty and overcrowding; raise our standard of living; and allow plants, animals and ecosystems to thrive…”

Justifying the Unjustifiable: Deconstructing the Lies of the NSA

GlobalResearchTV – “As the public finally becomes outraged over the NSA’s illegal spying, members of government and the corporate media wage an information war to misdirect that anger to issues of less importance. To counteract this, a bold new citizen-led initiative to nullify the NSA is now gaining momentum around the United States…”

 

Americans are “outraged” by the NSA’s illegal spying, huh? That’s interesting…

The Square

I watched the documentary, “The Square” on Netflix today and was absolutely blown away by it.  It is a very complex documentary and it touches on issues that every one fighting to make a change in this world can probably relate to: Disorganization, facing overwhelming odds, risk of imprisonment, death…renewal and hope for a better world. I will give fair warning tho – this isn’t for the faint of heart or those who can’t focus on subtitles. It is POWERFUL in so many ways...it is sickening, discouraging, harsh, beautiful, terrifying uplifting, inspiring…what an emotional roller-coaster. I get chills all over again even now as I am sifting through the YT clips to share.

The one thing that struck me more than anything as I was watching, was just how right the ideas behind the Common Ground movement are. No matter what some of our differences may be, it is absolutely imperative that we start learning to look past them and turn our focus to what we have in common with each other. The whole world seems to be edging towards a roaring, revolutionary period as more of US, the peons of the world, get fed up with being stomped on by more and more of THEM – the current power-system holders. As things stand worldwide, THEY can stomp us with sheer force in 2 heartbeats…WE can only stand strong and “win” if we stand arm in arm, tight…Together…

“The Square movie is a documentary about the Egyptian revolution behind the headlines. Follow a group of activists in Tahrir Square, risking their lives to build a new society of conscience…”

“If you take out people & put people just like them from the same circle, from the same regime, then you didn’t take down the regime, you took down people…”

“Our main problem as revolutionaries, most of the time we only object and say, “No” and we never offer alternatives…”

Filming “The Square”

Syria’s Children On The Frontline

 Truthloader- “The Syrian civil war has changed lives on both sides of the conflict irreversibly but while we often hear the stories about violence involving opposition fighters, the Syrian Arab Army and various extremist groups, one side of the story remains untold – the lives of Syria’s children. Marcel Mettelsiefen, the journalist and filmmaker behind Children On The Frontline, spoke to us about the kids he filmed in opposition held areas of Aleppo and the drastic changes the war has forced on their lives…”

The documentary will be broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK on 22/01/2014 at 10PM GMT. After that it will be available on 4oD.

Common Ground: Can We All Agree?

Common Ground – “Very few would disagree with the assertion that our current system has us headed for a disaster. However not everyone agrees on what that disaster will look like, and it’s virtually impossible to get people to agree on the solution. As a result forming a unified front to face these challenges has been next to impossible.

The Common Ground is an approach designed to deal with this issue.

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Redefining Family

“You see so many people left alone. Why? Because of our concept of family.”

- Guruji Sri Vast

Sustainable Man -  “There are other ways of doing things. In this video, Guruju Sri Vast argues that it’s our concept of family that is destroying the world. “By only seeing those inside your house as your family, naturally, you must take from those outside of your house to take care of those inside of your house.” This view puts all families in competition with one another. Sri Vast points towards a new concept of family.

What does family mean to you? For Sri Vast, it is anywhere where he feels love and accepted for who he is. Using this definition of family – love and acceptance – could we not all be one big human family? 

“No one needs to be alone.” 

Peru: Gas Expansion in Amazon ‘Indigenous Reserve’

The Ecologist – “The Peruvian government is pushing ahead with plans to expand gas operations in a supposedly protected reserve in the Amazon despite calls by the United Nations to suspend them. 

The company leading the operations, Pluspetrol, moved one step closer to proceeding with the expansion of the Camisea gas project – Peru’s biggest ever energy development – following a report by the vice-ministry of inter-culturality (VMI) last week.

Pluspetrol’s plans include drilling 18 wells and conducting seismic tests in an ‘intangible’ reserve for indigenous peoples living in ‘voluntary isolation’ and ‘initial contact’.

The reserve is also part of the buffer zone for the Manu national park, where Unesco says the biological diversity “exceeds that of any other place on Earth.”

UN special rapporteur visited in December

The VMI, Pluspetrol and the energy ministry are continuing to push ahead with the expansion plans despite recommendations made by the UN’s special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, during a visit to Peru in December.

“As if the UN’s special rapporteur didn’t exist or hadn’t made an official visit”, was how Servindi, a Peruvian news website, responded to the VMI’s report.

Anaya made his recommendations in a formal, 2,714 word statement read at a press conference in Lima. One recommendation was that the government perform an“exhaustive study” of the indigenous peoples in the gas project region.

Another that it “shouldn’t proceed with the proposed expansion without previously and conclusively establishing that their human rights will not be violated.”

“It’s obvious that these groups are extremely vulnerable”, Anaya said at the end of his eight day visit.

Violence can be expected

Pilar Cameno, from Peruvian NGO DAR, told the Guardian that the expansion could lead to“violent encounters” between gas project workers and indigenous peoples, “increased mortality rates”, the loss of land and access to resources, and environmental contamination.

“The Peruvian state must heed the UN rapporteur’s recommendations and implement them”, Cameno says. “What’s at stake here is the survival of the indigenous peoples in isolation and initial contact – not just as individuals, but as whole cultures.”

Full Article on The Ecologist

PERU FINES PLUSPETROL FOR DAMAGE TO AMAZON POND

Nov. 27, 2013

AP – “Peru’s environmental protection agency has levied a $7 million fine on the Argentine oil company Pluspetrol for damage in the Amazon jungle to a pond in the country’s biggest oil concession.

The fine follows a total of $13 million in other sanctions against the company imposed this year by the agency for oil contamination. Those included the largest single fine ever levied in Peru against an oil company.

Pluspetrol did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

The company produces 15,000 barrels of oil daily in a lot in the northern state of Loreto where the environmental agency says the Shanshococha pond disappeared due to production activity.

Peru produces 62,000 barrels of oil daily.”