Archive: 08/2010

Summer, 2010: The New Normal?

By Bruce E. Johansen

Earth by mid-2010 was experiencing its warmest decade, the warmest year, and the warmest April, May and June on the instrumental record. In 2010, Russia (at 111 degrees F.), Saudi Arabia and Iraq (both 126), Niger (118), Sudan (121), and Pakistan (at 129) set all-time temperature records.

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Keystone XL Comment Period Extended to September 15

With the recent oil spills (BP’s disaster in the Gulf and  Enbridge’s Kalamazoo pipeline rupture in Michigan), it is clear that current federal regulations are not strict enough to safeguard drinking and agricultural water from the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would cross 71 rivers and streams as well as the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides life-giving water to eight states and supports one-fifth of the wheat, corn, cotton, and cattle produced in the United States. Unless stopped, the Keystone XL pipeline will travel 1700 miles from Canada to refineries near Houston putting water supplies and the environment at risk.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has extended the Keystone XL comment period until September 15, 2010. Because the Keystone XL pipeline crosses the US-Canadian border,  a Presidential Permit is required from the U.S. Department of State. 

The Environmental Protection Agency recently gave the State Department’s draft analysis of the proposed pipeline’s environmental impacts a failing grade, in part because it failed to address the dangers the pipeline would pose to communities along its path. Fifty members of Congress  submitted a letter to Secretary of State Clinton to press her and the Obama administration not to rush to approve a new tar sands oil pipeline.

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Nobuko Tsubui at the Annual Lantern Float

Below is the statement that Japanese citizen Nobuko Tsukui delivered at the Lincoln NFP Chapter Annual Lantern Float August 7. Nobuko is a major scholar in the literature written by survivors of the atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki — people who often died after a few years from radiation sickness. Her most recent book, The Atomic Bomb Literature of Japan: an Introduction and Translations, make clear why it is so important for NFP to work for nuclear arms reductions and for stringent congressional controls on StratCom. The English translations in the volume are painful and powerful, but they are also a tribute to humankind's search for meaning. The Atomic Bomb Literature of Japan is available from Nebraskans for Peace for $25.  

--Paul Olson
, NFP President 

Dear Friends, 

I’m honored to be here to greet you tonight.

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Nelson, Johanns key swing votes on New START Treaty

After months of delay, the U.S. Senate will vote on ratifying the “New START” Treaty on nuclear weapons in September—just before the fall general election. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Obama Administration are still searching for the 67 votes necessary for ratification, despite the bipartisan backing of virtually every Democratic and Republican foreign policy luminary... the support of all three heads of the nation’s nuclear laboratories... and the endorsement of every former and current StratCom commander.

The votes of both Democratic Senator Ben Nelson and Republican Senator Mike Johanns are crucial for final adoption.

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