NuScale small nuclear reactor design certified for use in U.S.

NuScale small nuclear reactor design certified for use in U.S. 

 The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has certified the design for what will be the United States’ first small modular nuclear reactor.
The rule that certifies the design was published Thursday in the Federal Register. It means that companies seeking to build and operate a nuclear power plant can pick the design for a 50-megawatt, advanced light-water small modular nuclear reactor by Oregon-based NuScale Power and apply to the NRC for a license.
It’s the final determination that the design is acceptable for use, so it can’t be legally challenged during the licensing process when someone applies to build and operate a nuclear power plant, NRC spokesperson Scott Burnell said Friday. The rule becomes effective in late February.
The U.S. Energy Department said the newly approved design “equips the nation with a new clean power source to help drive down” planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s the seventh nuclear reactor design cleared for use in the United States. The rest are for traditional, large, light-water reactors.
Diane Hughes, NuScale’s vice president of marketing and communications, said the design certification is a historic step forward toward a clean energy future and makes the company’s VOYGR power plant a near-term deployable solution for customers.

Joseph Stiglitz: tax high earners at 70% to tackle widening inequality

Joseph Stiglitz: tax high earners at 70% to tackle widening inequality

 Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize-winning Keynesian economist, has called for the super-rich to be subjected to taxes as high as 70% to help tackle widening inequality.
Stiglitz, who won the Nobel prize in economics in 2001 and pioneered many ideas about globalisation and inequality, said introducing a special worldwide income tax rate of 70% on the highest earners “would clearly make sense”.
“People at the top might work a little bit less if you tax them more. But on the other hand, our society gains in having a more egalitarian, cohesive society,” the former World Bank chief economist, 79, told Oxfam’s Equals podcast.
Currently, the top rate of income tax in the UK is 45% on annual earnings above £150,000. In the US, the highest rate of tax is 37% on earnings above $539,901.
Stiglitz said that while an increase in the top rate on income would help lead to a more equal society, introducing wealth taxes on the fortunes accumulated by the world’s wealthiest over many generations would have an even bigger impact.

2nd Members Roundtable at UNGA77

2nd Members Roundtable at UNGA77 (September 2022) — Local2030 Islands Network
 In advance of the Pacific Island Country Summit, the Local2030 Islands Network convened the second in-person high-level meeting on September 21, 2022, co-chaired by Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Palau Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Gustav N. Aitaro, and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry during the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 77). The co-hosts opened the meeting by outlining a shared vision for the Network to be a forum for candid dialogue and concrete action by its members to advance progress and island leadership on shared 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Prime Minister Browne, Minister Aitaro, and Secretary Kerry were joined at the in-person gathering by Leaders, Ministers and other senior officials from Local2030 member islands, including the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Ireland, Aruba and Hawai‘i, as well as observers to the meeting, including Australia, Bahamas, Belize, and Sint Maarten. Local2030 Islands Network partners, including the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Secretary of the Navy, UN Foundation and University of Guam were also in attendance. The meeting was moderated by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Monica Medina.

Vanuatu makes bold call for global treaty to phase out fossil fuels

Vanuatu makes bold call for global treaty to phase out fossil fuels | Vanuatu | The Guardian

 The Pacific island of Vanuatu has called for a first-of-its-kind global treaty to phase out the use of fossil fuels in a bold public call at the UN general assembly.
Speaking in New York on Saturday, Nikenike Vurobaravu, the Vanuatuan president, urged countries to join his country’s call for a fossil fuel nonproliferation treaty.
Pope calls for courage in halting use of fossil fuels to protect planet
“We call for the development of a fossil fuel nonproliferation treaty to phase down coal, oil and gas production in line with 1.5C and enable a global just transition for every worker, community and nation with fossil fuel dependence,” he said.

Living in Peace & Hope for the Future

Homo sapiens need a safe, secure, quality of life in which to prosper. People, humans, who have all the basics needs met, as in secure sources of food and drinking water, and a suitable dwelling , a territory in which  they feel secure, an area where life is relaxed, they will prosper and not be aggressive.
Conversely, those who live under stress with a poor quality of life, under conditions of insecurity, will more often than not be inclined to engage in conflict with their neighbors. Conflict driven by the need to accumulate sufficient resources for their survival.
Stress inducing factors in today’s world range from anthropomorphic climate change causing conditions of drought or massive flooding destroying homes, crops and livestock, to rising sea levels and reduced sea food catch leading to food insecurity.
When one compares what our quality of life has  become in the last thousand years, to what it was previously, when all the planet’s land was global commons, when we were free to hunt and gather and follow the great herds and the yearly crops produced by the multi-generational food forests.  When our ancestors had unimaginably good food security, with a high quality lifestyle,  their culture flourished relatively peacefully.
I am a Peace Scholar, I hold a Masters degree in Peace and Conflict from the University of Bradford,a one of seven universities offering degree programs in Peace and Conflict Resolution chosen by Rotary International. 
I also studied with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, as well at the International Human Right Academy at the University of Utrecht.
 All of the above keep the need for discussions around Peace Making in the forefront of my mind, given that conflict can be triggered by so many issues.
The Global Peace Dialogue is an initiative to ramp up the dialogue globally, using video Padcasts to host discussions with Academics, Heads of State, Diplomats, Scientists and Policy Makers from around the world. 
These discussions will take place online on our YouTube Channel  and Dialogue’s will start in approximately two weeks.

Sole emphasis on GDP growth is misguided policy

Sole emphasis on GDP growth is misguided policy 
The Tribune India
 Pritam Singh – Professor Emeritus, Oxford Brookes Business School, Oxford

The ‘Competitiveness Road Map for India@100’, recently released by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, charts out the plan for India to become an upper-middle-income country by 2047. It looks impressive at first glance. However, a closer reading of the theory underpinning this policy goal would show this to be seriously flawed.
When GDP was introduced as an economic concept, it was rightly assumed to be an annual measure of exchangeable goods and services in a country and not as a direct measure of the welfare of the people in the country. Even GDP per capita, which is a better measure than the gross GDP because it takes into account the population in the country, is a flawed measure of welfare. The major weakness of GDP per capita is that it ignores the distributional dimension of GDP

Regenerative Rainmaking – How land management affects the soil and sky

Rainmaking Microbes

Microbes are everywhere, including in the clouds. Scientific studies are now showing that they play an important role in creating precipitation (reference links to multiple related articles are provided at the end of this article). Microbes from the soil and plants can go airborne and facilitate a process called bio-precipitation. These microbes include bacteria, fungi and tiny algae.
For a cloud to produce precipitation that falls to earth as rain or snow, ice particle formation in the clouds is required. Just a decade ago it was thought that only small mineral particles, or other inert particles, could serve as nuclei for condensation to occur. However, we now know that aerosols in the form of microbes can catalyze ice particle formation that trigger precipitation.
The evidence is building that vegetation and soils are a crucial source of atmospheric biological ice nucleators in precipitation. They may, in fact, be the most efficient ice-forming catalysts in precipitation, not airborne mineral particles. These “rainmaking” microbes are significant influencers of the water cycle. They can also travel long distances in the atmosphere for dispersal on a global scale.

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Right-Wing Judges Say It’s “Harmless” to Label Climate Activist a Terrorist

 A PANEL OF three Trump-appointed judges this week upheld an excessive eight-year prison sentence handed down to climate activist Jessica Reznicek, ruling that a terrorism enhancement attached to her sentence was “harmless.”
The terror enhancement, which dramatically increased Reznicek’s sentence from its original recommended range, set a troubling precedent. Decided by a lower court in 2021, it contends that Reznicek’s acts against private property were “calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government.” The appellate justices’ decision to uphold her sentence, callously dismissing the challenge to her terrorism enhancement, doubles down on a chilling message: 
Those who take direct action against rapacious energy corporations can be treated as enemies of the state. 

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