Top news: Fukushima now rated as INES 7, like Chernobyl says Japan’s nuclear agency; Greenpeace organizes anti-nuclear protests in Spain and Turkey; New Zealand government deploys military against peaceful Greenpeace protest; Morrisons’ tuna goes sustainable; Google invests in solar power plants; baby squirrel gets pepper sprayed in Texas.
© Pedro Armestre / Greenpeace - Anti-nuclear Projections in Spain
#Nuclear: Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) raised the Fukushima nuclear crisis to the same level as Chernobyl – from 5 to 7 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event [INES] scale. NISA said the new rating reflected the initial impact of the nuclear crisis, adding that radiation levels have since dropped dramatically. However not everyone agrees with this increase of the scale. The Guardian quotes Murray Jennex, associate professor at San Diego State University, as saying: "I think raising it to the level of Chernobyl is excessive … It's nowhere near that level. Chernobyl was terrible – it blew and they had no containment, and they were stuck.” Today, Greenpeace labelled the Japanese government’s decision as "woefully late” as we have been calling for a level 7 rating for already three weeks.
#Nuclear: “No More Fukushima” – “Nuclear Danger” – “Danger” – on Sunday, Greenpeace projected these words on to a number of nuclear plants across Spain on to mark the one-month anniversary of Japan’s earthquake and to urge the Spanish government to withdraw Spanish nuclear power plants from operation.
In Turkey Greenpeace activists projected a real time animation showing an anti-nuclear message onto the Istanbul ‘s Galata Tower as reported by local media.
#Oil: Following Sunday’s news of actions against oil drilling off the coast of New Zealand, the government has sent a naval vessel to ensure “a high-seas dispute between Greenpeace activists and a Brazilian-owned vessel exploring for oil does not escalate”. The government also dispatched an an air force Orion aircraft to “monitor” the situation. “We are very concerned at the use of military services to intervene in this protest and very concerned that the Government is meddling in police matters – apparently without a complaint from the company concerned”, said Steve Abel from Greenpeace New Zealand.
#Tuna: Great news for our Oceans campaign! British supermarket group Morrisons has announced that it will switch from purse seining using FADs (fishing aggregation devices) and will instead source tuna using a the more sustainable pole-and-line method. This announcement brings Britain’s fourth-biggest supermarket into line with Tesco and Asda who announced similar commitments earlier this year. The Independent writes that “letters from customers and embarrassing headlines” caused the shift in the company’s policy; clear proof that YOUR hard work brings amazing results.
#UnfriendCoal: Google announced yesterday that it has invested $168 million to help complete the construction of one of the world's biggest solar energy power plants in California's Mojave Desert. The plant will generate 392 gross megawatts (MW) of clean solar energy when it is completed in 2013, enough to supply power to 85,000 homes a year.
Facebook, are you reading this? If not - don’t worry; we will be sure to mention this in one of our 50,000+ Facebook comments we will create tomorrow. Unfriend Coal is organising an attempt to create a Guinness World Record for the greatest number of comments on a Facebook page within 24 hours. Curious, what are the others thinking about this initiative? Read here.
#Animal: Did you think that baby squirrels are harmless animals? Well, we thought so, but according to the Texas police a baby squirrel is a dangerous animal, which needs to be pepper sprayed. A police officer decided to pepper spray this tiny animal, because he wanted to protect school kids, who were allegedly “chased” by the squirrel. Thankfully this story has a happy ending as the squirrel was taken care of and later released back into the wild.