Archive for October 6th, 2012

06/10/2012

Peaceful Activism: 1 – Billionaire Oil Company: 0

Human Wrongs Watch

By JulietteH, Greenpeace – It’s not often that one of the world’s richest companies doesn’t get what it wants. But today in a Dutch court, Shell not only failed to win the sweeping injunction it applied for, but was told in quite forceful terms that it must accept the consequences of its reckless plans to drill for oil in the Arctic.

Here’s what the judge said:

“A company like Shell, that is taking actions… that are controversial in society and which many people will object to, can and should expect that actions will be taken to try to change its mind.”

Two weeks ago, Shell took Greenpeace Netherlands and Greenpeace International to court, asking for an incredibly broad injunction against Greenpeace.

What Shell initially asked for would have meant that any Greenpeace “action” – illegal or legal – within 500m of Shell property could have led to a million euro fine for the organization. Yep – a friendly activist handing out leaflets about Arctic drilling on a street corner could have broken the terms of the injunction.

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06/10/2012

Heavy Reliance on Liquefied Natural Gas – Supply Disruption ‘Could Have Global Implications’

Human Wrongs Watch

By Anne-Sophie Corbeau* – Concerns about a gas supply crisis usually focus on pipeline disruptions, but large parts of the world depend on liquefied natural gas (LNG). Japan, South Korea, Chinese Taipei and India rely entirely on LNG for their gas imports, helping LNG represent a total of 9% of global gas demand. Those economies’ dependency brings critical and specific vulnerabilities, especially since any disruption to LNG supply would have global implications.

**Photo by Nicolas Lannuzel on Flickr, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ Tanker deliveries in Singapore: the four economies that rely entirely on LNG imports for gas are in Asia.

LNG can be redirected fairly easily, and the liquefaction trade has increased significantly since 2009. But that growth hides the fact that global LNG trade is very dependent on one gas producer: Qatar, which provided 30% of the 2011 LNG trade and sent almost half of that supply to just those four most dependent economies.

Any event significantly reducing Qatari LNG supplies could have severe effects on energy security. Not only would the LNG importers suffer, but so would other gas importers, with prices potentially rising sharply as economies dependent on LNG diverted supply from other markets.

There is currently little spare LNG output capacity in the world, as LNG producers tend to produce as much as they can. Therefore, other options would have to be used: primarily increased domestic output, notably in the Americas and possibly China, and fuel switching in the power sector.

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06/10/2012

Some 1,7 Million More Teachers Needed … by 2015!

Human Wrongs Watch

Some 1.7 million more teachers are needed to achieve universal primary education by 2015, the second of the eight anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the heads of various United Nations agencies said in a joint statementmarking World Teachers’ Day on 5 October 2012.

Kisojo Model Primary School in Kyenjojo District in Uganda. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2010-1482/Shehzad Noorani

“On this day, we call for the creation of supportive teaching environments, adequate teacher training and safeguards for the rights of teachers,” the agency chiefs said, calling on governments to provide required training and fair salaries reflecting the importance of the profession while teachers, in turn, must be accountable to their students and communities, the UN reports.

“We must break the vicious cycle of declining professional conditions for teachers in order to improve the quality of learning for all,” they added. “The world expects a lot from teachers – they, in turn, are right to expect as much from us.”

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