Oil drilling in the Arctic

Norway is the leading country when it comes to technology for developing and operating oil and gas fields offshore. No wonder when you take the harsh weather conditions into account and how close we are to the Arctic.

BUT, we are also one of the biggest producer and exporter of fish. Our ocean is one of the most fertile biotope for fish. Before we found oil, our greatest asset was fish. Fish is still a major part of our export. We sell fish to 153 countries worldwide.

One of the richest area for the fisheries is the Barents Sea, but it is also the most vulnerable biotope. It is way up North, in the Arctic.

So, what do we do? We drill for oil and gas in an area with the harshest climate imaginable and with one of the most important source for fishing.

What is this government thinking ? Statoil, the biggest oil/gas company in Norway, has found several very promising oil/gas fields much further south, so we have more than enough produce. AND, we are probably the richest country in the world. The so called oil fund is approaching 4000 billion NOK, and we are around 4.500 people in this country. You do the math……………

So, WHY are we taking the risk of destroying huge parts of the Arctic, including our own fisheries, by developing oil/gas fields in the Barents Sea? ONE large oil spill will be an utter disaster in that area, and because it is so far north, it may take 30, 40 or maybe 60 years to reestablish the biotope to normality. As a fisherman said some years ago: “We can eat fish but not oil”. Simple but true. We must not forget that pumping oil/gas will come to an end one day, but we will always have the fish, and we will be dependent on that simple fact. So, why destroy the most sustainable source of income for our country?

The responsibility for this destructive policy lies wholly in our government. The government consist of three parties: The biggest, the Social Democrats (Arbeiderpartiet), and two very small parties; the Socialist Party (SV) and Senterpartiet, earlier called The Farmers Party. Both SV and Senterpartiet are very conscious and focused on the environment. It was therefore quite a shock when the minister for Petroleum and Energy, Ola Borten Moe from Senterpartiet (!!) stated that we (Norway), will drill for oil and gas up to the North Pole.

What one minister say may not be that important. My main concern is the policy of this government. Drilling after oil and gas in the Arctic is utter madness.

 

 

 

Palestinian children in Israeli jails

I have earlier written about the choking hold Israel is having on the Palestinians. Israel’s state terrorism against the Palestinians has now reached a level that is so appalling that even their most “loyal” supporter, the US, is trying to constrain Israels’ military aggression, the settlements of Israelis on Palestinian land and their destruction of Palestinian economy.

While all this is going on, there is something very sinister happening that does not make the big headlines: The way the Israeli army (IDF) is treating Palestinian children. Besides being vicious and cruel, it also violates International law., more precisely “Article 2 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child”,” the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child”.

An Israeli military prosecutor told the team of lawyers, “Every Palestinian child is a potential terrorist.” This stance, Davies says, leads to a spiral of injustice, which only Israel as the occupying power in the West Bank can reverse.

So, what exactly are the IDF doing to these children?

Common complaints and areas of concern – January 2008 January 2012

Number of Cases Percentage of Children
Hand ties 296 95%
Blindfolds 281 90%
Physical violence 234 75%
Detention inside Israel in violation of Article 76 196 63%
Arrested between midnight and 5:00 am 188 60%
Confession during interrogation 180 58%
Threats 178 57%
Verbal abuse and/or humiliation 169 54%
Strip searched 102 33%
Transferred on floor of vehicle 98 32%
Signed/shown documents written in Hebrew 91 29%
Solitary confinement 38 12%

Hard facts     Behind these numbers are the suffering of children, their traumas, angst and horrors of being treated like terrorists. Most of these children threw rocks at Israeli armed vehicles and tanks, not doing any damage. But again: the Israeli retaliation is grossly out of proportion. The IDF arrests, blindfold, beat and place these kids in solitary confinement (which by International law is torture) for weeks and months and then brought into the court room shackled and chained, like armed convicts. If over 14 years of age, they can be sentences to 20 years in jail

Again. They are CHILDREN! How can we sit still and do NOTHING? This must be a dilemma especially for the US, who are so quick to accuse for example China of abusing Human Rights, while at the same time supporting Israel, who so blatantly break all International Laws.