Omega-Environment Collection 14. May 2004

Urge the wood giants to help stop illegal logging

RAPID RESPONSE needed to save Dominican Republic parks

Ukraine threatens Europe’s second largest wetland

Coastal Flood Potential - Will It Force Redefining of "Defense"?


Inuit "poisoned from afar" due to climate change

Outdoor gear makers urge Bush administration to protect roadless forests

Save the Trees

Asia's "last frontier" poised for irrevocable change

Cod could be wiped out within 15 years, says WWF

Thousands to meet for talks on tackling Earth's environmental problems

Major Volcanic Eruption in Far East

Toxic Chemicals and Intellectual Disabilities in the USA

How Fluoride Kills Human Cells

Coastal Flood Potential - Will It Force Redefining of "Defense"?

An article by Alan Blanes

What would be the consequences of oceans rising of one meter over the next few decades?

This is the forecast from the WorldWatch Institute,
( http://www.worldwatch.org/mag/2000/00-6.html ). See, for example, the article by Don Henrichson "The Oceans Are Coming Ashore" [Nov/Dec 2000] which states that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts a 1 meter rise in oceans by 2080 according to computer models.

The same forecast is made by Molly O'Meara in her article "The Risks of Disrupting Climate" in the WorldWatch Reader 1991. She estimates almost a one meter rise in ocean level if temperatures rise 6 degrees. And it could be worse. Bentley and Bindschlader in their article "On Thin Ice" December 2002 "Scientific American" warn that unpredictably greater problems can happen due to the slippery subsurface of the Western Antarctic Iceshelf. Their article is available from sadigital@sciam.com, and more details of their research can be accessed at http://www.glacier.rice.edu/.

The consequences would be terrible, but we can avoid it.

We could de-salinate the sea water and use it to make forests in the deserts and other regions that need water. This could turn things around so that the land areas of the planet would retain water instead of over-filling the oceans. (For more information e-mail prosci@ecn.ab.ca ).

To do this, we must restructure our engineering and industrial priorities from war to peace. The world spends the equivalent of more than $1.2 trillion Canadian dollars a year on armaments according to the Stockholm International Peace Reseach Institute
( http://www.sipri.org ). We need to convert the defense contract companies from weapons production to civil engineering programs involving restoration of unfertile regions of the continents. This would enable the continents to retain enough water and plant life (i.e. dense forests) in order to offset the water flow from melting icecaps and glaciers.

I would suggest that we begin by developing a dialogue with groups such as Engineers Without Borders.



Ukraine threatens Europe’s second largest wetland

Published by: Sarah Bladen, WWF International, 11/05/2004

The mighty Danube is under attack again

Thanks to your recent efforts, Austria's planned river works are moving in a better direction. But now a Ukrainian project threatens the Danube Delta, one of Europe's most ecologically important areas.
The Ukrainian government has started construction on a multi-million US-dollar shipping canal, which will cut right through the Danube Delta.

The Bystroye canal threatens critical habitats and jeopardizes the region's fishing and tourism industries.

Urge the Ukrainian President, Mr. Leonid Kuchma, to halt the canal construction, and to consider alternatives.


RAPID RESPONSE needed to save Dominican Republic parks

Published by: Sarah Bladen, WWF International, 13/05/2004

New law is bad news for Dominican protected areas

Ignoring objections from local citizens, businesses and scientists worldwide, the Congress of the Dominican Republic rushed ahead to pass a law that would eliminate or shrink the size of as many as 30 protected areas throughout the country. The law would also allow mining in the country's national parks.

The final decision now rests with the President of the Dominican Republic, Hipolito Mejia, who has the power to veto this destructive law. He is expected to make his decision before national elections, this Sunday, May 16.

You can help stop this destructive law NOW. Send an email to President Mejia and urge him to veto this destructive law.


Urge the wood giants to help stop illegal logging

Is the wood you buy o.k? Has it been cut responsibly or with disregard for the forest and its wildlife? You have a right to know. Ask the "wood giants" NOW and help stop illegal and destructive logging. Criminally and irresponsibly harvested timber lands in stores all around the world. You may unknowingly buy wood stripped from pristine and valuable forests.

Do companies know where the timber they buy and sell comes from, how it has been harvested, and how the forests have been managed? The lack of information is part of the problem, but you can help change this.

Appeal to "wood giants," like Bauhaus AG, show that you care and that you want their assurance that the wood you buy is o.k - because wood is good, but only if it comes from responsible sources.



At the Mediterranean Network Meeting of the European Federation of Green Parties, held in Pervolia, Larnaca, Cyprus between 21-23 November 2003 the Greens expressed their concern on the insistence of the British Government to put in operation the huge
military spying antennae in the sensitive area of the Akrotiri Salt Lake.

The antennae should not have been allowed to operate prior to the completion of a health impact assessment, without applying the precautionary principle applied specially to children's and adult's health and the protection of wild life, bird migration and biodiversity.

We call upon the British Government to abandon the operation of the antennae and demolish all antennae erected.

Patricia Kyriacou, Cyprus.

(Below is an official Cyprus Green Party report on the demonstrations in 2002 against erection of the Akrotiri military base antennas)



The British have started works on the 1st of July, whilst inclusion to the Ramsar list, environmental impact assessments are in process, the review of the international committee is still in progress and ignoring locals, greens and of the general public oppositions. About 10 scientists, environmentalists and the green MP Mr Giorgos Perdikis and his wife were protesting peacefully and with dignity against the construction works by preventing only the very heavy machinery to enter the construction site.

The 10 people were holding each other in the one site of the street –in order to avoid causing disturbance to the traffic -and holding a poster against the antenna. The British brought to the site large numbers heavily armed special forces and helicopters were flying overhead in order to avert a peaceful protest. They broke the human chain by applying physical force. Some protesters were violently treated among them the green MP and his wife. Although the previous day the Press officer of the Bases assured that they will not oppose peaceful demonstrations they forcefully removed the protesters from the place of protest, took charge of the area and subjected them to the humiliation of having to witness commencement of the violation of the wetland.


The British Sovereign Bases in Cyprus have started on the 1st of July 2002, the installation of a new antenna in the Akrotiri Military Bases. The selected area for the installation (the requested area for
installation is 13ha) is located in one of the most important ecosystems of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, the Akrotiri Wetland. A unique ecosystem of fresh and salt water habitats.

The new antenna will be installed among others, in a ‘’forest’’ of antennae created by the British Bases in the west of the salt lake. It has to be noted that the existing antennae, and even more so the planned additional one, are situated in a crucial and sensitive area of the wetland complex, providing the hydrological link between the fresh water marshes and the Akrotiri salt lake, as well as specific habitat for species of particular concern.

The wetland is of great ecological importance, especially for the avifauna since it is situated in the migration routes (Bird Life International, Important Bird Areas of Europe, Priority sites for
conservation: Southern Europe, page 152-153). The Cyprus Government aims for the protection and the declaration of the area to a Nature Reserve. The installation site is included in the planned Nature Reserve.

Moreover, the Akrotiri peninsula is one of the 38 proposed areas of Cyprus to be included in the Natura 2000 network. The ecological importance of the area is established and indisputable and fulfils the Ramsar criteria, but due to the political status of the area (Military Sovereign Bases, remains of the once British Empire in Cyprus and excluded from the European Union), the Cyprus Government didn’t designate the Akrotiri Wetland for inclusion in the List of Wetlands
of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention (ratified April 2001). The British have informed the Ramsar Bureau for their intention to extend Ramsar Convention in the Bases. The Ramsar
Bureau has been supplied by to two proposals for Ramsar Site delineation, one by the Cyprus Government following, in essence, the wetland ecosystem delineation, and a proposal by the Sovereign Base Area Administration that proposes a more restrictive Ramsar
Site, separated in two, artificially delineated entities. The British proposal is prepared in a way that the antenna ‘’forest’’ is excluded from the proposed Ramsar site.

The wetland ecosystem has been included in the List of Bird Areas of
International Importance, by BirdLIfe International is one of the proposed areas for inclusion in the Natura 2000 Network is proposed to be designated as Nature Reserve.

It qualifies for listing as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention Criteria 1, 2, 3 and 6:
  • supports more than 1% of the Eastern Mediterranean population of internationally important wintering population of Greater Flamingo supports significant number of rare, endangered, vulnerable, endemic, important flora and fauna species

    supports over of 32 bird species listed in the Anex I of the European Birds Directive

    supports 27 habitat types listed in the Anex I of the European Habitats Directive

    supports 2 habitat types listed in the Anex II of the European Habitats Directive

    hosts an outstanding assemblage of migratory birds, 238 species of birds have been recorded in the area out of 365 recorded in Cyprus

    hosts about 50% of the African population of the Demoiselle Crane
Apart from the ecological disaster that will be caused by the installation, another important aspect is the electromagnetic fields that will be created by the antenna. The type of the foresaid antenna is ‘’curtain array antenna’’ and is dimensions are width 196m and height 100m. The proposed antenna is a low band antenna and will operate in HF frequency band (3-30 MHz) with a maximum (continues wave) input power of 500KW. Few hundred meters away from the existing antennas and the proposed installation site of the new antenna, is the Akrotiri village exposed for years to the electromagnetic smog. In the vicinity there are few more villages and the city of Limassol. Even though the scientific community didn’t succeed yet to be of the same opinion that the electromagnetic radiation is negatively affecting health, it is recommended to apply the precautionary principle, in order to protect the public health bearing especially in mind the accumulative effect of the exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

The installation of the antenna and the existing antennae are violating the human rights of the Akrotiri village inhabitants. The Cyprus Green Party is actively supporting the locals in their efforts to protect their health and the environment. The widely known ”Precautionary Principle” and the European acquis should be applied and the British Government should be obliged to freeze all plans and respect the natural environment of Cyprus, the public health and the human rights of the Akrotiri village inhabitants.

There are also political aspects to the above and these are: the status of the British Military Bases in Cyprus and the listening power and purpose of the antenna, where all information will be forwarded to the computers of the British Espionage Center GCHQ, one of the Echelon Listening Centers.

How Fluoride Kills Human Cells

Researchers uncovering mechanisms behind fluoride's toxicity

Fluoride, the "Golden Child" of dental professionals around the world, seems to have a "dark side" that few outside a very specialized field of the scientific community are aware of. As disturbing as it may be, fluoride apparently has the ability to cause DNA damage and even "cell death" in human cells.

In a new study, researchers from the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Japan note that

"Even though fluoride toxicity is increasingly being considered to be important, very little information is available on the mechanism of action of fluoride."

You might think that most everything would be known about a chemical that is being added to our water and prescribed for our children, but regrettably this is not the case.

Researchers decided to investigate the mechanism by which fluoride's is able to kill cells by observing how it affects human leukemia cells. Cancerous cells are often used in research on toxicity because they are more active than normal cells.

They found that the fluoride induced a form of cell death known as "apoptosis" in a dose-dependent and time dependent manner.

Now, if fluoride killing cancerous cells were the "end of the story", this would be a great breakthrough in cancer treatment and would likely save many lives. Unfortunately, things are not quite so simple.

Lead researcher Dr. C.D. Anuradha, in comments to the Optimal Wellness Center, explains that "fluoride in general is harmful to any type of cell. We have seen that fluoride causes cell death in other non-cancerous cells but however the mode of death has been found to be different." Instead of causing apoptosis, in normal cells fluoride seems to kill cells through a different mechanism, known as "necrosis".

Cell Death - Murder or Suicide?

Apoptosis, also known as "programmed cell death" in a process governed by genes in which the cell dies from within upon activation by some stimulating factor. It is a useful phenomenon, which occurs often as part of the normal functioning of the human body, as it gets rid of unwanted cells. The term apoptosis is derived from the Greek word that signifies "the dropping of leaves from the trees." The falling leaves are no longer needed, just as is the case with the unwanted cells, so they are gotten rid of, and recycled back into the earth.

Necrosis, on the other hand, is an externally influenced death, which occurs through some type of local injury (as loss of blood supply, corrosion, burning, or the local lesion of a disease).

A useful analogy between apoptosis and necrosis might be to compare suicide (apoptosis) to murder (necrosis).

Is it Dangerous at Much Lower Doses?

Now many readers may ask the intelligent question of - How does this affect me? Are the much lower concentrations found in fluoridated water and toothpaste a danger to my family and me?

The answer unfortunately is that nobody knows for sure. However, Dr. Anuradha states that, although the concentrations are quite low "…still we expect some amount of damage even at lower concentrations, since at higher concentrations the results are quite clear that the difference is enormous and significant."

She notes that the issue of therapeutic fluoridation is the subject of much debate. Could this be the reason that Japan does not fluoridate ANY of its water supplies? This can't be said with certainty, but after all, doesn't it make sense to keep a potentially dangerous substance out of the water and not FORCE the entire population to consume it?

In the United States currently about 60% of the population drinks fluoridated water, although if the federal government has its way, that percentage will rise dramatically. This is especially true with states like California MANDATING the fluoridation of the public water supplies over a certain size.

How it Caused Cell-Death

Dr. Anuradha and colleagues found that fluoride caused apoptosis in the human leukemia cells by activating an enzyme called caspase-3, which has been identified as a key mediator of apoptosis of cells in humans and other mammals.

The authors note that "The results clearly suggest that fluoride causes cell death in HL-60 (human leukemia) cells by causing the activation of caspase-3 which in turn cleaves PARP leading to DNA damage and ultimately cell death."

What Type of Fluoride?

Except for readers with strong scientific backgrounds, most people don't realize that there is really no such thing as plain "fluoride". When it said that "fluoride" is added to the water, in reality it is a fluoride-compound such as sodium fluoride (NaF), which is the form used in these toxicity experiments.

While this may be the most well known and well-studied of all the fluoride compounds, it is actually very rarely used for water fluoridation. In over 90% of the fluoridated water in the US, the chemicals used are one of the silicofluorides (either fluosilicic acid or sodium silicofluoride).

However, these chemicals have been shown to act much differently from the much simpler sodium fluoride. In one study, it was shown that these chemicals enhance the cellular uptake of lead ( http://www.fluoride-journal.com/98-31-3/313-s25.htm ).

Being that there is evidence that silicofluorides may be even more toxic than NaF, it is quite possible that the DNA damage and cell-killing ability might be even greater in the type of fluoride used in the water supplies.

What Can I Do About it?

Whether you believe that water fluoridation is a vast conspiracy or simply that it is a possibility that fluoride is a dangerous substance that you would just rather avoid, the question remains the same - what to do about it?

The best advice would be to go to our Fluoride Links Page and get involved: http://www.mercola.com/article/links/fluoride_links.htm



Informant: Planttrees



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