[alternet-l] ALTERNET NEWS # 60

Adrian Harris adrian at gn.apc.org
Fri Jun 15 11:45:25 BST 2001


This issue:


Send items for inclusion, including a web link if possible, to
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Back issues are on-line at: 
---> http://www.gn.apc.org/news/index.html#3


Women Living Under Muslim Laws is an international Network that provides
information, solidarity and support for all women whose lives are shaped,
conditioned or governed by laws and customs said to derive from Islam:
 ---> http://www.wluml.org

EarthTrends is a selective collection of timely and relevant information on
environmental and social issues. It's a one-stop shop that provides data in
a variety of  formats which can be used to analyze trends, assess progress,
and plan for the future:
---> http://earthtrends.wri.org


Most of the Arctic wilderness will be at risk by the middle of this century
if industrial development carries on at its current rate, United Nations
scientists have warned.

Plans are well advanced to open up a vast new seaway around the roof of the
world. The Northern Sea Route could significantly reduce the sailing time
from Europe, Scandinavia and Russia to the Far East.

But experts are concerned that the development of the route is primarily
intended to exploit the rich oil, gas and mineral resources of Siberia. 

Although vast tracts of the Arctic are designated as protected areas, that
may not help. Mark Collins of UNEP's World Conservation Monitoring Centre
said, "many key ecosystems are poorly protected, particularly in the
southern part of the Arctic, where most of the development is happening." 

The industrialization of the Arctic also threatens the traditional
existence of many indigenous peoples. 

Industrialisation "will lead to increasing pressure on the life-styles of
indigenous peoples as well as on precious habitats and ecosystems in an
area of the world vital for wildlife and for regulating the Earth's
climate," said Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP.

The report emerges from the GLOBIO project that maps human impact on the
biosphere to give a scientific overview of the cumulative impacts of human

Dr. Christian Nellemann, who co-ordinated the project said: "GLOBIO is not
science fiction or doomsday predictions. It allows us to chronicle with far
greater accuracy land and water degradation processes that have resulted
from the human expansions of the last 50 years. We hope GLOBIO will open
the eyes of the public and the state leaders around the world, alerting
them to the consequences of the choices that we are making today".

--> http://www.grida.no/prog/polar/globio/rovaniemi.htm


Exposure for as little as two hours to the fine particulate air pollution
typical of car exhausts raises the likelihood of heart attack.

"As the level of air pollution went up, the risk went up" said Dr. Murray
Mittleman who led the study.

Researchers in the Boston-area found that patients experienced a 48 percent
rise in heart attack risk after exposure to air pollutants.

The pollution particles are called PM-2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5
micrometers in diameter). They're emitted by cars, power plants and
industry, as well as fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. Other studies in
the past five years have linked deaths and hospital admissions to a spike
in PM-2.5 levels.

Boston does not have excessive pollution, so the risk could be even worse
in high-pollution cities. High amounts of fine particulate air pollution
are present typically during very hot, hazy summer days.

Full story:
--> http://www.msnbc.com/news/585986.asp


Bush believes that the Kyoto agreement is "fatally flawed" and has vowed to
pursue "an effective and science-based approach to addressing the important
issue of global climate change."

Bill Hare of Greenpeace International said that Bush is "essentially hiding
behind scientific uncertainties, and his interpretation of climate science
is fantasy at best and deliberately misleading at worst." 

Businessman Ted Turner, who founded CNN, claims that the Bush
Administration ignores clean technology and focuses on developing new oil
and coal projects because the president wants to repay energy companies for
helping finance his campaign.

Hare agrees: "Putting more money into research does not qualify as a
serious response at this stage. It's worse than odd. It's verging on the
sinister. It really indicates that certain branches of industry are having
an astonishing influence on Bush and his approach to the problem of climate

A recent National Academy of Sciences report says that global temperatures
are rising and that "human activity" is contributing to that rise.

Meanwhile Andrew Card, White House chief of staff, was blunt in his remarks
about European critics of Bush, declaring "I think that they've been driven
by emotion rather than by science."

--> http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,44441,00.html?tw=wn20010612


The World Bank Development Gateway, a new Internet initiative for on-line
discussions on development issues, will be launched on 1 July 2001. 

Activists of some non-government organisations are concerned that powerful
status quo voices would be heard more frequently on the Gateway. The
Gateway will be heavily promoted by a public relations company and will
compete with existing sites on development issues. The Bank is reportedly
refusing to respond to questions about the Gateway's logic and scope.

The Bretton Woods Project, an information-provider, media informant and
watchdog that scrutinises and influences the World Bank has detailed major
problems with the Development Gateway.

Email: info at brettonwoodsproject.org

Previous report in AlterNet #46:


Previous report in AlterNet #34:


Full report Bretton Woods Project:
---> http://www.brettonwoodsproject.org/topic/knowledgebank/index.html


The March & Festival in London on Sat. 16th June aims 'to unite all who
seek a 'New Deal for Cannabis' whether for medication or recreation, for
food, fuel or fibre.'

The event begins at 12 noon with a Carnival March. People will assemble in
Kennington Park and leave at 1.00 pm sharp to Brockwell Park, Brixton.

Sound system floats, a samba band & puppets (including Ann Widdecombe),
will accompany the March. Organisers invite revellers to 'bring spirit,
humour, banners, drums, your voice, to celebrate, remonstrate and 'dance on
the grave of Cannabis Prohibition''.

The Cannabis Freedom Festival runs from 2 pm to 8 pm at Brockwell Park,

The Festival will include bands, sound systems, food, drink and cannabis
related stalls, kids area, comedy, performers, information and celebration.

Highlights include:
*Four live stages + nine sound system venues. 
*Speakers tent with a full day's programme of speakers, panels, debates.
*Live music including a Brazilian Samba Band and Ghanaian Drummers.
*Hemp Expo and the Medical Cannabis Marquee. 
*Poets for Pot - alternative poetry & music 

Recorded info line: 0207 637 7467

More information + updates:
--> http://www.cannbiscoalition.org


More than half a million children are recruited into government forces and
armed groups in more than 87 countries. A new global survey from The
Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers claims that at least 300,000 of
these children are actively fighting in 41 countries.

The situation has improved in Latin America, the Balkans, and the Middle
East in recent years, while new generations of children are at risk in
Africa and parts of Asia and the Pacific.

“The widespread availability of modern lightweight weapons has contributed
to the child soldier problem, enabling even the smallest child to become an
efficient killer” said Rory Mungoven, Co-ordinator of the Coalition. 

“When even a few children are involved as soldiers in a conflict, all
children in that particular community come under suspicion” said Mr.
Mungoven. In one case a party of schoolchildren was killed after the army
mistook them for a guerrilla unit in Antioquia province.

Since last June 80 countries have signed a new treaty barring the use of
children in armed conflict, but only five have ratified it.

Key findings of the report:
--> http://www.hrw.org/campaigns/crp/cs-report2001.htm


Dragon Environmental Network have published papers presented at the first
Dragon Eco-magic Conference held last year.

Contributors include 'Donga' Alex Plows, Michael York, research fellow at
Bath Spa University College, and Emma Restall Orr, Joint Chief of The
British Druid Order.

The Dragon Journal - 'How Green Is Our Magic?', price  £2.50, is available
(post free in the UK) from: Dragon Journal, c/o 23b Pepys Road, New Cross,
London SE14 5SA. (Cheques payable to 'Dragon')

--> http://www.gn.apc.org/dragon/



"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."

James Bryant Conant




16th: Cannabis March and Festival. Details above.

Rally for Compassionate Living. 3pm, Trafalgar Square - a warm up for
National Vegetarian Week! 
Celebrity speakers, music, Mahaveer Awards (part of the celebrations for
the 2,600 birth anniversary of Lord Mahaveer). Organised by the Young
Indian Vegetarians (Veg Soc affiliated group), more 
details from: 0181 681 8884. 
Email: animalahimsa at yahoo.co.uk 
web site: www.indian-vegetarians.org

ICA  @ 7.30: Spirit Dot Net Erik Davis (Techgnosis, Mike Eales (Explorer of
the human / tech interface) Jennifer Cobb tbc (Cybergrace) Chair: Pat Kane
(singer, The Play Ethic)
Tickets: £ 7.50 For more information: SWord at Poiesis.org



Public meeting of the London Alliance (for local democracy): 
7.0pm in The Bertrand Russell Room, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square: Our
assessment of the General Election in relation to our objectives: current
campaigns on transport, local democracy (including 
Community Councils for our 500 urban villages), etc. All interested
welcome. No charge - collection. 

Eco-design for competitive advantage. 1st regional conference for
manufacturing companies. For full conference programme and registration
form see:
--> http://www.cfsd.org.uk/events/eco-d2001/index.html

Women against sanctions against Iraq.
Evening of talks, letters, poems, music and discussions that illuminate the
experience of Iraqi women under sanctions. It is 6 pm for 6.30 pm at the
Rectory, St.James's Church, 197 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL. Iraqi
refreshments will be served.

Tyne & Wear Anti Facist Association, AGM at Gateshead Civic Centre. 
6:30-9:30pm. 0191 2221660

The Fight for Life-saving Drugs. Turning South Africa's AIDS drugs victory
into reality.
Action for  Southern Africa invites you to hear Theodora Steele of the
Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa speak about the court case and
what still needs to be done to deliver affordable treatment to the HIV
positive people of South Africa.
7:00 pm @ the Africa Centre 38 Kings Street Covent Garden
Admission free & all welcome!
Details: www.actsa.org/HIV_public_meeting.html

Cafe Scientifique discussion on research into the genetics of behaviour. 
5.30pm, Curtis Auditorium, Newcastle University

Palestine Solidarity Campaign National Conference: 
Palestine - the New Apartheid? 
Chaired by Tony Benn The Conference aims to empower supporters of
Palestinian Rights to become more effective campaigners by learning from
the Anti-Apartheid movement, and by gaining knowledge of specific
Palestinian issues. 
10.30 - 4.30 @ University of London Union, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY 
Cost: £8.00 Concessions £5.00 

email:info at PalestineCampaign.org 

Greenpeace non-violence training day at the Newcastle Quaker Meeting House
(Archibold Terrace). Participating in this will "enable you to participate
in Greenpeace actions". If you want to come, contact 
jo.melzack at uk.greenpeace.org or 0161 448 1929

National Protest - Close Racist Detention Centres 12.00 - 2.00pm
Harmondsworth Detention Centre Colnbrook By-pass (A4 North of Heathrow).
Music & speakers. Bring banners, whistles, etc. Car Cavalcade: meet up
10.30am in M4 westbound Heston Services (details from Elane on 07958
508492). Public Transport - U3 bus from Heathrow or 81 bus from opposite
Hounslow West tube station.


7.30 Spirituality Untamed. Rupert Sheldrake (Natural Grace), Annie Lennox
tbc (musician), Andrew Samuels (Politics in the Chair) Chair: Indra Adnan
(Director, Poiesis)
Tickets: £ 7.50 For more information: SWord at Poiesis.org



Sharp political fun with Tony Benn and Roy Bailey, launching the book
"Trident on Trial" - the story of the Trident Three. 7.30p.m. @ Conway
Hall, London, Tickets £10, £5 (concession) - contact Conway Hall 020 7242
8032. Proceeds to Trident Ploughshares.

www.trident ploughshares.org

More Diary Dates on GreenNet:

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The AlterNet News is edited by Adrian Harris for GreenNet:
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