Mar 11, 2014

Communists of Mérida against fascist barricades uprising

We hereby publish and support the following call of the Venezuelan Communist Party and the communists of Mérida, which we have translated from Spanish.


Venezuelan Communist Party

Communists of Mérida against fascist barricades uprising

Our city presently experiences an exceptional situation never before seen. Fascist gangs pretend to lay siege to the town in an effort to weaken and finally overthrow the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, rightfully elected by the people less than a year ago.  

Barricades have been set up in streets and avenues near those neighborhoods where the upper middle class lives. The barricade rioters impede free transit, destroy public institutions, trash private stores, attack peaceful passers-by, shoot at police and officials of the National Guard, violate a whole series of laws of the Republic and enjoy the tacit support from the mayor of Mérida's Libertador municipality.

It is within these gangs that paramilitary personnel and snipers are operating, financed by drug trafficking and foreign sponsors and who serve as evidence for the interventionist policy of the forces of imperialism. We communists perceive the threat that is hovering over the Republic, its democratic institutions and the social gains which have been achieved during the government of Commander Hugo Chávez, and we understand that the current situation is being pushed forward by a fascist minority with an anti-democratic, anti-working class, anti-socialist agenda, exploiting and distorting the consciousness of the middle classes within the class struggle.

We also feel the close danger to the lives of the revolutionary militants and the working class. Thus our urgent call to all revolutionary organizations, without exclusion, to unite in one, antifascist front in order to defeat the criminal expressions of fascism at any moment and any place they appear. Furthermore, we call for the activation of the revolutionary forces within the communities and collectives. Our call is directed in the first place to the members of the Gran Polo Patriótico, but also reaches out to organizations of workers, students, peasants and other social forces. The Venezuela Communist Party opens its rows to each and everybody who is determined to fight against fascist insolence.

"Fascism, brought about by the general crisis of capitalism, is the terrorist, bloody dictatorship of the most reactionary, chauvinistic and aggressive forces, which speculate with the social discontent of the urban petty bourgeoisie and which use the latter to strengthen the position of monopoly capitalism." (Dictionary of Scientific Communism, 1975).


Mérida, March 2014.

Célula ‘Argelia Laya’ del PCV (0416-6740354). 
PCV Mérida- Comité Regional (0426-6772220).

Venezuelan Community Pie del Tiro confronts Protesters, Barricades.

This material has reached us from a friend here in Mérida who was present with his camera at the incidents in Pie del Tiro.


In February 2014, a wave of street protests, started off by groups of students and by the Venezuelan opposition, besieged the Andean city of Mérida.

Calling for the dismissal of President Nicolás Maduro, the protesters set up barricades in the main avenues of the city.

The rights of the residents to free transit was violated. Work got paralyzed and access to medical attention in cases of emergency got severely restricted. 

After a months of enduring  the barricades, various communities decided to retake their streets. 

In the night of the 8th of March, two members of Pie del Tiro community got injured by shots that came from the protesters.

Griselda Figueroa got a bullet in her face and died the day after.

Nobody has been arrested for these crimes.

The community remains in resistance and demands justice.

Regarding the current State of Affairs in Mérida / Venezuela

March 5th, 2014

Hello everybody

it's time to write a brief report and say some words about the current state of affairs here in Venezuela. The situation is worrying and, of course, reminiscent of the coup attempt against president Chávez in the year 2002, although the constellation of forces today is a different one. Ever since the last Venezuelan presidential elections of April 2013, won by a scarce margin by Nicolás Maduro, the presidential successor candidate appointed by Chávez shortly before his death, and the communal elections of past December from which the Maduro government, however, has emerged considerably strengthened, once again within the ranks of the opposition the one sector has gained the upper hand which favors a violent coup against the government.   

This is the first year in which there won't be any elections in Venezuela for a change, and the next chance for the opposition to measure forces with the Chavistas are the parliamentary elections at the end of 2015 or a recall referendum after half of president Maduro´s term in 2016. Alas, that´s too long a time to wait for and thus and ever since the end of January, under the guidance of Leopoldo López, chairman of the radical right wing party 'Voluntad Popular', we´ve seen followers of the opposition rage in the streets of Venezuela in what they say are 'peaceful' demonstrations, demanding the immediate resignation of president Maduro.

The reasons given for the persistent protests, which, contrary to what protesters and the private media assure, are of a highly violent character, are the economic problems of Venezuela like price speculation, inflation, food shortages as well as stagnant or halting production; problems, which on the one hand have their roots in the government's partly erroneous economic and financial policy, and on the other hand in the deliberate escalation of these weaknesses by big economic sectors close to the opposition, with the purpose to destabilize and overthrow the government. Also, many Venezuelans active in the retail business, as well as uncountable, ordinary citizens have contributed to this escalation by simply drawing their personal advantage from  economic policy measures such as the state subsidization of certain products, namely buying those cheap products and reselling them for an increased price, or obtaining US Dollars at the preferential rate fixed by the State and reselling them on the black market with huge gains.    

In the course of the demonstrations and protests of January and February, people got injured and some died and Leopoldo López was arrested because he had openly called on his supporters to employ violence and overthrow the government. The opposition asseverates that it is but the government which is responsible for the violence that has occurred and that the government security forces act with utter brutality against the demonstrators; corresponding photos allegedly proving these accusations and which had circulated in the first place in Twitter, but also in other electronic media, as well as in national and international print media, turned out to be fake, namely taken out of context from confrontations between demonstrators and security forces of other countries. The final objective of the media manipulation is to achieve an intervention, of whatever kind, of foreign countries in Venezuela (Obama and John Kerry already have demanded the Venezuelan government release Leopoldo López and also the 'political prisoners' - people who were arrested in flagranti for unauthorized carrying of weapons or for commiting acts of violence).   

In the meantime, the government of Maduro has convoked a National Conference for Peace and has gathered all the forces from the political and economic spectrum of the country at the round table, where the current problems and their possible solutions are to be discussed and elaborated by working committees. This is how the government intends to nip a probable spiral of violence with uncalculable consequences for the country, in the bud. Meanwhile, the protests continue, however it has to be said that they do not extend themselves across the whole country but are limited to 18 of Venezuela's 335 municipalities, whereas the states of Mérida, Táchira, DF and Carabobo, especially their respective capitals Mérida, San Cristóbal, Caracas (Chacao) and Valencia, have been affected the most.

Now a word regarding the situation in Mérida. What's been occurring here during the last three weeks borders on the grotesque. According to the government's strategy to avoid at all costs a confrontation with the protesters from the opposition, strict instructions have been given to Mérida's security forces to refrain, if at all possible, from intervening in the protests and to let them 'steam-off' and exhaust by themselves. This strategy has brought as a consequence that groups of opposition rioters have been able to block, unhindered and in their entire length, two vital main roads of the city, Avenida Los Próceres and Avenida Las Américas. The rioters have set up dozens of barricades consisting of burning tires and garbage bags, rain drainage grids torn out from the ground, knocked-over street lampposts, torn-down traffic lights, felled trees, bulky waste, pieces of garden hoses pierced with nails and barbed wire streched across the road, so that getting through with vehicles, be it cars or motorbikes, is absolutely impossible. Nationwide and until now, five motorcyclists have died being torn from their motorbikes by barbed wires. Waste oil poured onto the road is another dangerous factor for motorcyclists, the majority of whom, so it is estimated, are supporters of the government and who have been subject to a heinous smear campaign.    

Entire blocks of appartment houses and neighborhoods have been cut off from traffic and thus from provision with foodstuff and cooking gas; ambulance-, firefighter- and police vehicles don't have any access either. Residents have no other option but to walk, sometimes for miles, to reach the town center. Whoever wants to leave their neighborhood in one piece and also return to their home again unharmed, has to pay a 'fee' to the 'guardians' of the barricades. Who refuses to pay risks being spit at, hit and threatened in the best case, or being thrown at with stones or even shot at in the worst case. (A friend in the appartment block La Trinidad got threatened and spit at, and an acquaintance's friend got shot at in the Cardenal Quintero neighborhood). Friends in La Pedregosa district are reporting up to 100 Bolivares 'fees' residents have to pay in order to leave and get back to their homes; an acquaintance reports having been stopped shortly before the entrance of the Sor Juana Inés Hospital and having been forced to pay 50 Bolívares in order to be able to visit his sick family member.

The picture that is getting apparent meanwhile is the following. The active people operating at the front (an estimated two hundred in Mérida) who have been setting up and 'maintaining' the barricades all over the city on behalf of the opposition, are young men who get specifically payed for that job. Police recently succeeded to arrest one of them, who confessed getting payed for setting up and running the barricades, but who refused to reveal the names of his payers because he feared reprisals. Furthermore, it seems as if the original front activists have been at least partially replaced by ordinary criminals, for whom the construction and maintenance of the barricades as well as the cashing-up of 'transit-fees' has turned out to be a lucrative bargain. At night, the collecting of fees and raids go hand in hand. According to friends who happen to live in these neighborhoods-turned-ghettos, this could be at least one of the reasons why things seem to have been getting out of the opposition's control lately. Fact is, that the whole situation has pushed the Chavistas or supporters of the government for that matter, as well as the majority of the very opposition, to the limits of
their endurance. What drives government supporters to despair in a mixture of fury and impotence is the truly stoic inaction of the security forces, who only intervene in extreme cases and otherwise have to bear getting insulted by demonstrators, thrown at with molotov cocktails and even shot at with hot ammunition by rioters, and who have to stand and watch how a big part of Mérida is being laid to waste. Armed opposition rioters here have attacked and partly destroyed hospitals, institutions of the State like the Ministry of Environment, the transport system, communication infrastructure, supermarkets and even hotels; the main bus terminal in Mérida had to suspend its operations two weeks ago, the same holds true for the entire trolleybus system which transports thousands of Meridenian people daily for free. Public transport had collapsed for some days and has been precarious ever since. Many small businesses in Mérida are closed, partly because the owners have been threatened with the destruction of their shops if they dare open them, and partly because workers and employees haven't been able to reach their workplaces. 

Every day the government-friendly, local radio station YVKE Mundial here in Mérida is being flooded with calls from listeners, amongst them increasingly supporters of the opposition, who literally beg our government and security forces for help because they cannot leave their homes anymore, have to breathe contaminated air day and night, filled with smoke from burning tires and garbage-bags, are deprived of food because most of the small shops in their neighborhoods have run out of products due to the fact that the providers cannot deliver their payloads because of the barricades; and in cases of health emergencies cannot receive help. However, selective permission of transport carrying foodstuff and cooking gas for appartments and shops has been reported from a few residential districts where opposition supporters outweigh. For some time and when the protests had recently begun, the barricade keepers had enjoyed support from opposition members of their neighborhoods in the form of provision of material for the barricades, the supply of food and beverages as well as 'moral' support by neighbors who came out pot-banging at night. This support has decreased considerably in the meantime and what concerns the supply of the barricade-keepers with foodstuffs it seems that this is increasingly being obtained by force, a practice that angers and deactivates opposition supporters. On the side of the government supporters the displeasure is growing because the 'laissez-faire strategy', ironically spoken, is being conceived as betrayal: In the name of the human rights of the opposition rioters (and in the first place fearing the negative international media reporting against Venezuela), nobody dares touch them, but then nobody says a word with regard to the human rights of the thousands of besieged, who are trapped in their own homes. Government supporters have begun to threaten to take things into their own hands if our regional government here proves unable to reestablish the public order.  

Surely, there are many more things to comment about but these lines only intend to sketch the current situation in a condensed way. Still of importance, perhaps, is to mention that the government of Mérida is not entirely standing by idly and watching things happen with folded arms. There have been various efforts to remove the barricades in different districts and to regain the streets in a common operation involving government authorities, security forces and voluntary help from community members; efforts that have only succeeded in part because those involved in the operation not only get thrown at with stones but also shot at with hot ammunition. Many removed barricades are being reassembled shortly after their demolition, as security forces cannot be deployed all over the place to monitor the streets. 

It is also important to point out, that these protests are not a general uprising of the population against the government, but a destabilization effort which does not even count on the support of the whole of the Venezuelan opposition, but in any case on the support of the private, national and international mass media and which, in the last instance, intends to create a spiral of violence which is supposed to result in civil war so as to justify a foreign intervention in Venezuela.  


Oct 6, 2012

News Bulletin Nr. 1621

Read the latest News Bulletin

In this edition: Jorge Martin about the brazen disinformation campaign with regard to Venezuela's upcoming presidential elections, in: Lies, half truths and bias - the world’s media and the Venezuelan election; Mark Weisbrot's incisive insight into Why the US demonises Venezuela's Democracy; Bill Van Auken's critique of Chávez' shift to the right, in: Venezuela’s Chavez turns further right in face of election challenge, and Iguana TV's photo gallery documenting Thursday's campaign closing event, in: Chávez supporters fill seven avenues of Caracas.

Sep 29, 2012

News Bulletin Nr. 1620

Read the latest News Bulletin

In this edition: George Ciccariello-Maher's tale of two elections, two Venezuelas, two leaks, two plans and two paths, in: The election that matters; Jody McIntyre's sketch of the Venezuelan opposition's presidential candidate in: Who is Henrique Capriles Radonski?; Alan Wood's powerful reasons Why the IMT supports Chávez in the upcoming Venezuelan elections; a statement of the Common Dreams Editorial Staff with regard to the real enemies of American society in: US Designates Wikileaks "Enemy of the State", Paul Craig Roberts' illustration of How the (US) Government's Lies become Truth'' and the real agendas behind the lies, and Justin Raimondo's take on cartoon bombs and war propaganda in: Bibi's Crazy UN speech

Go to News Bulletin Nr. 1620

May 22, 2011

For Franz

Until Forever

There are moments
When words don't matter
But the fist in the air
The battle cry and hope
And the tears
That water with infinite tenderness
Mother Earth
In which we have sown you.

¡Franz Vive! ¡La lucha sigue!

Mar 30, 2011

Prospects of a radiant future: From Chernobyl to Fukushima

By: Jutta Schmitt

Less than a month away from the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, I remember it as if it had been yesterday. The cover-up was in operation from the point go. I was working for a German airline at that time, and on the 29th of April 1986, three days after the explosion of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant's infamous reactor 4, I was on duty on board a DC-10, covering the route from Frankfurt to Toronto. The captain called the crew into the cockpit, informing us that he had received information which confirmed that an accident had occurred a few days earlier at a nuclear power plant in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and that it was feared radioactive material could have been released into the atmosphere to a considerable extent. However, there was no accurate information as to what exactly had happened and more than anything else, confusion reigned. On the ground in Toronto, the crew gathered in the lounge of the hotel, trying to catch up with the bits of information or rather speculation that the international media had begun to transmit about the incident. A mixture of fear and incredulity got hold of us. For a brief moment, we considered trying to find a way to prolong our layover in Toronto at least until we would have clarity about what was going on.

But it wasn't until way into the second week of the disaster that the silhouette of the real picture had begun to emerge. In the case of Germany, it was revealed that radioactive fallout from Chernobyl had reached the German South as soon as four days after the reactor explosion in Chernobyl, with much of it raining down on Bavaria. Although government authorities in Southern Germany had undertaken measurements of radioactive fallout in the days after news of the accident had transcended, results were deliberately withheld so as to avoid an "unnecessary concern" among the general public. As of May 6th, 10 days into the nuclear catastrophe, the values measured in Erding County near Munich - although admitted to be "relatively high" - kept being undisclosed to the public, (1) whereas the German Federal Government was quick to confirm it would hold the course of the nuclear energy option.

Uncertainty, fear and confusion spread amongst the population. On the initiative of Ekkehard Krueger, physicist and former staff member at Munich-Garching's famous Nuclear Research Reactor (dubbed the "nuclear egg" for its shape), a group of concerned environmental activists in Munich, tired of the silence from government authorities with regard to critical radiation fallout data, founded an independent research institute which was to measure radioactivity levels in the environment in order to unveil the plain and uncensored results to the public. The citizen-based Umweltinstitut Muenchen e.V. (Munich Environmental Institute -MEI-), was born. (2) The Institute focused specifically on measuring the radioactive contamination of food, making the results directly available to the people and to the media. In addition, by measuring the radioactivity of fencepost tops all over the region of Bavaria, the MEI had detected a method by which to determine the exact distribution of the radioactive fallout throughout Bavaria and thus elaborated a register of contaminated land in Southern Germany.

For taking a radical, zero-contamination stance with regard to food safety and for the mere fact of disclosing the results of their measurements to the public and the media, the Munich Environmental Institute became a headache for government authorities from its very inception. Both, the Bavarian State Office for Environment and the Federal Radiation Protection Office, waged an information war against the MEI, disavowing the accuracy of its measurements, whereas the latter, in turn, denounced the deliberate scaling-down of measured values or the arbitrary rising of 'legal' radiation thresholds as well as the overall disinformation campaign, practiced by government authorities.   

In 1989, the year my brother joined the MEI doing his community service, the radioactive contamination of food and land had not subsided. Milk and milk products, as well as mushrooms, berries, nuts, vegetables, fresh produce in general and processed food, too, all were radioactively contaminated beyond the established 'legal' limits. My brother used to call me several times a week to give me the latest "war report" on radioactive contamination, according to the items measured by the MEI, which often forced me to dispose of determined food items I had bought because their level of contamination was too hazardous. Given the different ways of radiation exposure, for example through inhalation of airborne particles and dust, food and water intake, contact with contaminated soil, etc., the team working at MEI, apart from food, tested everything ranging from air and soil samples to people's clothes and the contents of vacuum cleaner bags. And everything they tested was still considerably contaminated.

Also and due to my brother's work at MEI, we learned that a considerable part, that is, 20%, of the radioactive contamination of our environment is due to the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons conducted in the 50's and 60's, which caused the massive dispersion of radionuclides all over the planet and which have been identified as one of the causes for the world wide rise of cancer, along with medical radiation exposures and exposures from radiation in close range vicinities of nuclear power plants, where cancer rates in children are 60% up from 'normal'. (3)

Today and in spite of the massive cover-up that tried to bury the facts of the Chernobyl accident under a disinformation sarcophagus, we know that worldwide almost one million people died from exposure to the radiation released from the explosion of its infamous reactor block number four. (4) We also know, that radioactive emissions from the Chernobyl reactor may have been up to 200 times greater than initially estimated, exceeding by far the fallout from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs. (5) And today, as we are nearing the 25th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, the catastrophe and cover-up are repeating themselves in Fukushima, in what can only be described as a kind of 'Chernobyl to the nth power'. Russian politician and leader of Russia's Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, echoed later by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, may perhaps turn out to be the person who's had the most accurate foresight for things to come, when - flirting with the idea of benefiting from Japanese labor potential - he suggested to offer Japanese the chance to resettle in the underpopulated areas of Russia's Far East. (6)

Considering that Fukushima power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company and the Japanese government have been downplaying the catastrophe and covering up the true scope of the disaster to avoid a mass panic amidst an already extreme situation, delaying critical information about damages to reactor cores, containment vessels, ongoing partial meltdowns, radiation levels in air, seawater and food, and considering that a scenario as bad as the release of plutonium into the environment has been unfolding ever since last week, the question arises indeed, if the whole of Japan could be rendered uninhabitable if things continue along this path. 

However, TEPCO and the Japanese government authorities are not the only actors involved in cover-up and downplay, engaging in a desperate effort of damage control of whatever is left to be 'controlled'. The March 26th online edition of Mainichi Daily News reported that the International Commission of Radiological Protection (ICRP) "has recommended the Japanese government temporarily raise the annual limit of radiation exposure for the general public in light of the ongoing crisis at the quake- and tsunami-crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture. The government stipulates that regular citizens in Japan should be exposed to no more than 1 millisievert of radiation per year, but the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) on March 21 recommended the limit be tentatively raised to 20 to 100 millisieverts per year, with the nuclear crisis showing no signs of abating. [...] it suggested, even after the power plant crisis is resolved, the government should keep the upper limit at 1 to 20 millisieverts per year before it gradually brings it back to its original 1, in order to prevent residents of Fukushima Prefecture from abandoning their hometowns." (7) Drastically put, in order to avoid having to accept the Russian offer of resettlement in its Far Eastern territories, all that the Japanese government has to do is raise the limit for radiation exposure and the problem is solved! Let the darn reactors spew a whole fireworks of highly radioactive and toxic particles, all you have to do is rise the legal threshold for radiation exposure and all will be just fine.    

It is along a similar line of 'damage control' that the European Union has begun to act with regard to imports from Japan. In a joint press statement of yesterday, March 29th, the Berlin-based organization Foodwatch and the already mentioned Munich Environmental Institute have expressed their criticism of Germany's 'information' policy with regard to radioactive contamination of food imports from Japan. The criticism is directed against the German Federal Consumer Affairs Minister, who talks about "reinforced control mechanisms" and "special protection standards" for imports from Japan, but has kept silent about the fact that the European Union has just recently raised the legal thresholds for radioactive contamination of food coming from the affected regions of Japan. The organizations warn that the EU has elevated the threshold for cumulated radioactivity from caesium-134 and caesium-137 from 600 becquerel per kilogram to 12.500 becquerel per kilogram for determined products imported from Japan, which amounts to an almost twenty-fold increase of the formerly established values. (8) With regard to the above mentioned "base threshold" of 600 becquerel per kilogram it must be said that any food item measured by the Munich Environmental Institute back in 1989 which would have amounted to 30, 20 or to even 15 becquerel per kilogram would already have been cause for concern, and anything beyond 100 becquerel per kilogram would have been considered unsuitable for consumption.

Meanwhile, The Guardian UK is reporting that the radioactive core of reactor 2 has melted through the containment vessel and fallen onto the concrete floor, which will conduct to a major release of radiation. The Guardian cites Richard Lahey, former head of safety research for Boiling Water Reactors at General Electric, as saying: "The indications we have, from the reactor to radiation readings and the materials they are seeing, suggest that the core has melted through the bottom of the pressure vessel in unit two, and at least some of it is down on the floor of the drywell, ... I hope I am wrong, but that is certainly what the evidence is pointing towards." (9)

It is beyond doubt that both, Chernobyl and now Fukushima with their respective, nefarious crisis mismanagements and their criminal disinformation campaigns, have paved the way for a radiant future. But we will not exactly be beaming with joy.


(3) See documents available on, and and respectively.
(6) and’s-offer-to-resettle-japanese-angers-nationalists-analysis-22032011/

Oct 24, 2010

Achieving big things in small spaces: Towards Venezuelan food sovereignty

By: Jutta Schmitt

Under the slogan "Big things can be done in small spaces", on Saturday, October 16th, in the preschool facilities of the small community of Las Mesitas de Higuerones, located in the Parish Ignacio Fernández Peña, of Campo Elías Municipality in the state of Mérida, an ecological training project was presented, titled: ''Agriculture and nutrition with the use of ecological techniques: Camacho Dugarte Family Garden“.

Under the National Training Program for Agriculture and Nutrition, guided and supervised by Professors Simón Hoyo and Marcial Bracho, agronomists and coordinators of that program in Merida, a group of female students from the Technical College Institute of Ejido (IUTE) presented the results of their one years' work, realized in the community of Las Mesitas de Higuerones with the objective of developing an agro-ecological Family Garden Project.

Professor Simón Hoyo opened the event with words of welcome to the community members who had come to the place, and first referred to the great personal responsibility implicated in the participation in this important project, which forms part of the National Government's policy to establish food security for the Venezuelan population. He then told the audience that the agro-ecological Family Garden Project has a total duration of one year and is performed in three consecutive stages, that is, the diagnosis and location of the community and family on whose land the project will be realized, the stage of implementation or execution of the ecological activity as such, from planting to harvesting, and finally, the presentation of the work that's been performed to the members of the community concerned.

Subsequently, the five students who had carried out the project, applicants to the degree of Ecological Agronomist, Ana Camacho, Keila Molina, Kerly Toro, Coromoto Paredes and Yamilet Rojas, proceeded with the presentation, step by step, of the project: ''Family Garden, Dugarte Camacho Unit.''


The general objectives that had been set up included the establishment of a home garden by means of ecological techniques, the comprehensive protection of the environment and human health, obtaining healthy and tasty products, the improvement of quality of life, providing support for family supplies and the promotion not only of family unity, but of the unity and cooperation of the entire community. Among the specific objectives, the students mentioned the optimal use of a basically limited, physical space and the planting of vegetables suitable for the region, with their selection depending primarily on agro-climatic conditions, which, in this case, resulted in the selection of green onions, cilantro, sweet pepper, paprika, tomato and lettuce, including the planting of four aromatic species according to the basic requirements of agro-ecological techniques, in this case, basil, rosemary, aloe and tobacco.

The methodology applied divided the project into two phases, the 'office' or planning phase which included data collection and the selection of the community, and the 'field' or application phase with the corresponding diagnostic of the objective conditions present, and the proper implementation of the project itself.

After having selected the community and family that would provide the physical space for the project, the students proceeded with the demarcation and adaptation of the selected area, namely the preparation of the field and loosening-up of the soil, the building and leveling of plant beds, and the preparation of the soil substratum including its disinfection and subsequent fertilization with organic fertilizer, such as the application of humus or compost, which is a substance composed of organic products stemming from the decomposition of organic waste in a compost pile or bin. Regarding the disinfection of the substratum to prevent the emergence of weeds, the students explained to the community members present, that, for this purpose, the soil is placed in a box, irrigated with hot water and then covered with a dark plastic foil with the aim of intensifying the temperature, leaving it covered for approximately three days, depending on the microclimate of the place. After having prepared the substratum, the students went to obtain the seeds (some certified) that were purchased from the local retailers and the farmer's market.

With regard to the planting and later transplantation of the saplings, the students emphasized the importance of the control and prevention of infestation and disease by inserting, in various parts of the garden, a variety of herbs and aromatic species such as rosemary, basil, yerba santa, peppermint, aloe and tobacco, which have the function to keep pests away from the crop plants, apart from being highly beneficial to human health as they are medicinal. The inclusion of such plants is also promoting the revival of the knowledge and application of our highly effective and powerful, natural, ancestral medicine.

In what could be called the topical application of 'organic insecticides' in case of a contamination of plants with pests, the community members were informed that excellent results can be achieved without resorting to the kind of harmful, chemical pesticides that have done so much damage to our soils, by spraying a mixture of onion, garlic and vinegar - liquefied in a liter of water, percolated and then diluted with pure water - onto the affected plants. Equally effective is the maceration of the leaves of a local tree called 'Rabo Ratón', diluting the juice extracted from the leaves with water, and spraying it onto those plants infested with pests.

The harvest obtained in a fairly limited space, only a few months after planting, was 6 kilograms of paprika, 6 kg of tomatoes, 5 kg of sweet pepper, 3 kg of cilantro, 5 kg of lettuce and 2 kg of onions. After the presentation of the project, when inspecting the Family Garden in question, the community members could appreciate 'live' the nice appearance and taste of these items produced exclusively with ecological techniques and virtually zero production costs, given the fact that recycled material and supplies had been used for nurseries and other devices.

Ending their presentation, the five students concluded that creating an ecological home garden is easy to do and inexpensive, as it encourages the recycling of used materials that can be applied for the construction of plant beds, nurseries, compost bins and other devices. In addition, agro-ecological activity not only promotes family unity but at the same time, neighborhood and community integration, promoting mutual learning among all parts involved and encouraging participation in a new experience with highly gratifying results.

The students called on those present to adopt a healthy diet to the benefit of their health and that of the environment, two objectives that can precisely be achieved through the construction of a home garden under agro-ecological principles and techniques. They wholeheartedly thanked their teachers, classmates, colleagues, family and community members for their cooperation and support and, in turn, received a warm applause from the audience for their excellent performance and hard work concerning this recommendable project.

After the presentation Simón Hoyo intervened with a comment on the nature of this project and explained that this is a type of project that is in harmony with our reality and therefore allows us to undertake a comprehensive, human and natural development in the very space in which we find ourselves, with the help of the natural and human resources available therein. He said that in this way we can contribute directly from our communities with the long term vision of the country in accordance with Article 305 of our constitution, which stipulates food security based on sustainable agriculture as one of its pillars. In addition, Hoyo warned that in the face of the environmental and climatic crisis our planet is confronting, it is absolutely necessary that we humans step down from our illusory throne and put ourselves in our real context, that is, from a a cosmological point of view, understanding ourselves as infinitely small and insignificant beings. We're not the greatest thing on the planet, and much less can we claim the right to subdue the Earth and other forms of life to our destructive whims. He ended his comment by stressing that all teaching and learning that is generated in any of the educational institutions in our country, necessarily has to include the communities in order to transmit and at the same time generate, new knowledge and new values in a process of mutual respect and learning.

By way of a general conclusion, Marcial Bracho expressed his thanks to the community of Las Mesitas, to its Community Council, to the tutor, the students, the audience and to the writer of this report, intended to share the experience of this extraordinary project with the readers of this article. Referring to the example of the young students, Bracho pointed out the overwhelming importance of a comprehensive education of our youth, who has to be skilled and responsible to our society and country, given that it has to replace the older generations in a not too distant future. He highlighted that in this sense, the national government's educational policies, in this case with regard to the teaching and application of ecological agriculture and nutrition, are addressed directly and specifically to the 'end user', that is, the people, the communities, to each and everyone of us. He regretted that the vast majority of our universities keep being isolated and exclusive places, enclosed into their four walls, unable to intertwine in an integrated way with our communities so as to share their teachings with the people and to help them solve the problems that affect them. He stressed the need for a comprehensive, humanist education, not only for our youth but for ourselves, so that we may learn to be servants of our communities and to always act under the principles of love, solidarity, equity, social justice and inclusion, our own ancestral values that have gotten lost in this perverse dynamics of capitalism which only promotes individualism, selfishness and greed. In this sense, Bracho evoked the formation of the new man with a deep sense of humanism and a new ethics.

He reminded the participants that the environmental problems that have emerged on a global scale like the destruction of the ozone layer, climate change, the pollution of soil, air and water, and deforestation, affect all of us without exception and can only be resolved by means of a humanist and ecological vocation, reason for which the importance of agroecology and its immediate application becomes so obvious, and whose feasibility has been conclusively demonstrated by the project presented.

He concluded his intervention by saying that the National Training Program for Agriculture and Nutrition currently has 54 home garden projects running nationwide, and that the five students form part of the first cohort of this program who will be promoting the development of organic food production with the purpose of establishing food sovereignty for our country in the future.

It is worth noting the significance of this interesting experience because, if effectively multiplied on a national scale, it will no doubt be a decisive step in the battle against the globally imposed, harmful, capitalist practices which use food as an instrument of domination. But then, and to definitely ensure our long-term food sovereignty, we must 'go to the grain', so to speak. The seeds are the 'alpha and omega' of agriculture and constitute its essential means of production. Since time immemorial, seeds were obtained naturally from crop and exchanged among farming communities. They were common, social property and had the power to self-reproduce by virtue of their natural cycles.

Only with the consolidation of capitalism and the industrialization of agriculture began the conversion of seeds into a commodity, and thus began the process of their modification, privatization, patenting and full integration into the perverse mechanisms of the capitalist market. Far from being regarded as the sources of our life and food, seeds have been converted into catalysts for the expansion of markets and profits, and therefore they had to suffer modifications which have induced and increased their dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and simultaneously have reduced their fertility and capacity to self-reproduce. The integration of various branches of science and production techniques such as chemistry, biology, pharmaceuticals and genetic engineering, along with the introduction of patents on seeds and accompanied by a process of concentration of capital, has led to the monopolization of the seed market by a handful of agribusiness corporations like Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Bayer, who are among the 10 largest seed companies that together control 57% of the global market. Monsanto, based in the U.S. is the world's largest transnational seed company which holds 90 per cent of patents related to agricultural biotechnology and which controls a fifth of the global seed market. The patents owned by these multinationals give them the power to control planting, harvesting and the reproduction of seeds, and are placing into their hands the almost exclusive decision over the type of items to be offered on the international market, always determined by calculations of the highest profit possible. And who controls the seeds, controls the global food production.

This is why it is absolutely necessary to develop a strategy for food sovereignty, which, together with the promotion of agro-ecological techniques in the family and community-based production of food, includes the right and duty to preserve, reproduce and exchange natural, native, non-modified seeds, as well as the building of a national seed bank in order to store seeds of crop plants and wild plants, so as to counteract the loss of biodiversity and to conserve and restore native varieties. This strategy should also include the relentless struggle against the patentability of plants, animals and even ancestral knowledge, as determined by Article 124 of our Constitution.

In any case, thanks to the enthusiasm and vocation of some young students and their teachers, members of the National Training Program for Agriculture and Nutrition, this past October 16th in the community of Las Mesitas de Higuerones, joy and hope and a formidable sword have been sown to lead the fight for food sovereignty from the heart of our communities.

Apr 25, 2010

It's Now or Never: Hands Off Mother Earth! In Defense of our living planet and planetary life.

By Jutta Schmitt

The Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth recently held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, by the World's People - as opposed to the world's transnational corporations and their executive branches or 'Governments of, by and for the Elites' - has concluded with The People's Agreement on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (1). This final document makes it very clear that if the so called "Copenhagen Understanding" had its way, the damages already inflicted on Mother Earth would become totally irreversible, with a 20 to 30 percent of species condemned to extinction, our forests and glaciers at risk of disappearing for good, with deserts expanding and droughts and floods affecting different regions of the planet, jeopardizing world food production and dramatically increasing the number of the hungry on the planet, which already exceeds 1 billion people.

The document goes straight to the essence of the problem our world is facing today, when pointing towards the fact, that the governments of the so called 'developed' countries, in complicity with part of the scientific community, are trying to reduce the debate and urgent action needed to avert the huge danger environmental contamination and climate change pose for life on planet Earth, to its perceivable effects - rising temperatures - rather than addressing the underlying root cause, the capitalist system. The People's Agreement direly warns that we are witnessing the agony of a patriarchal model of civilization based on the oppression and destruction of human beings and nature, which had been sharply accelerated by the industrial revolution and which today encompasses the entire globe. It states that this model of civilization -capitalism - has ruthlessly imposed on us its logics of competition and its notion of 'progress', which equals wellbeing with unlimited economic growth, no matter the consequences. The document states that capitalism is a mode of production and consumption which has the sole purpose of seeking unlimited profits, alienating humans from nature and converting everything into a commodity: water, land, the human genome, our ancestral cultures, biodiversity, justice, ethics, people's rights, death and life itself.

The People's Agreement bluntly shows that humanity today faces the final disjunctive: Either continue the devastating path of capitalism towards depredation and death, or start paving the way to a model of society that learns to live in harmony with nature and respects and cherishes life. The knowledge, wisdom and the ancestral way of life of our indigenous peoples, anchored in the concept of Earth as a living being, that is, as the totality of all the living, moving processes of which human beings only form a part, is being considered as the only method to help Mother Earth with all her living relations - humans included - survive and recover. The document goes on to categorically state that an alternative society must either live in harmony and equilibrium with itself and with nature, foster the collective wellbeing based on complementarity, solidarity and equity, respect Mother Earth's rights, value humans by virtue of what they are and not by what they possess, eliminate all forms of colonialism, imperialism and interventionism and foster peace between the peoples and with Mother Earth, or otherwise perish.

Thus and according to the People's Agreement, the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth must be adopted immediately and must comprise her right to life and to existence, her right to be respected, her right to continue her natural cycles and processes without alteration by humans, her right to maintain her identity and integrity as a totality of different, self-regulated and interrelated beings, her right to water as the spring of life, her right to clean air, her right to integral health, her right to be free from contamination, pollution, toxic and radioactive waste, her right not to be modified genetically, her right to be free from threats to a vital and healthy functioning, and finally, her right to a full and fast recovery from the violations of these rights by human activities.
In addition, the People's Agreement demands the creation of an International Court for Climate and Environmental Justice, and demands that the so-called 'developed' countries take their full responsibility as the major polluters and thus restore the environment including the atmospheric space above the so-called 'underdeveloped' countries, which has been contaminated by the pollutants of the 'developed' countries. Furthermore, the agreement demands that the 'developed countries' provide shelter to the hundreds of millions that will be displaced as a consequence of climate change provoked by THEIR greenhouse gas emissions and also provide the means to minimize and deal with the damage caused by these same emissions. This, of course, sets the stage for an inevitable confrontation between two radically antagonistic conceptions: The World People's Conception which places life over profit and which seeks an integral solution to climate change by identifying and tackling the root cause, and the World Elites' 'conception' or rather shortsightedness, which places profits over life and which seeks to make profit even from the demise of Mother Earth and life.

In this sense and consequentially, the People's Agreement categorically rejects the false solutions to climate change, offered by the Elites in complicity with the established scientific community and profit-hungry, transnational corporations, which range from 'bio-fuels', nanotechnology, genetically modified organisms to geoengineering. As for the latter, the necessity to protect our already contaminated skies and seas from being totally deprived of the little that is left of their vital functions by injecting toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and by dumping iron into the oceans, has led to the creation of the HANDS OFF MOTHER EARTH CAMPAIGN by a coalition of international civil society groups, indigenous peoples organizations and social movements, who participated at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. The HOME campaign is aimed at raising public awareness with regard to large-scale manipulation of planetary sub-systems and provides a platform for individuals and organizations to voice their opposition to such geoengineering experiments.

Most importantly, the massive, already ongoing 'covert' - and at the same time openly visible experiments - of "Solar Radiation Management" MUST BE EXPOSED AND STOPPED.

The World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth has concluded its session on the 22nd of April with the People's Agreement and the call for immediate coordination of international action so as to see for the dissemination of its findings and the implementation of its demands. The Conference calls for the construction of a World Movement of the People for the Defense of Mother Earth, because Mother Earth is the only HOME we have.

It's now or never: We have to defend our living planet and planetary life. Thus, join the Hands Off Mother Earth Campaign! Welcome HOME! 


Apr 18, 2010

Geo-Engineering Watch Communiqué to the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth

World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth 

Incompatible with the Rights of Mother Earth!

The term geoengineering refers to the deliberate technological manipulation of the natural processes of the Earth. These comprise its dynamics, composition and structure, including the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, the atmosphere with its different, superimposed layers, and outer space.

On the 5th of November 2009, the US House Committee of Science and Technology held its first hearing on geoengineering. Nobody from the general public, no representatives of environment defenders, agriculture or ocean scientists, medics, nor public agencies of either regional or national level, were invited to speak. The same occurred with the two hearings that followed in 2010.

The House Committee on Science and Technology and the Parliament of Britain have agreed to discuss geoengineering and its probable implementation within a global scheme of geoengineering administration, as proposed by the Royal Society and several climate scientists. Public and private meetings of groups of scientists, with little or no media coverage, have begun to take place in February and March 2010 in California to discuss possible geoengineering schemes with the objective to mitigate the effects of global warming and in the aftermath of the Copenhagen failure.

Among the proposals to mitigate the effects of global warming figure Solar Radiation Management. One of its aspects deals with the potential that aerosols may have in the stratosphere to limit and deflect incoming solar radiation. The experiments shall inject sulfate or other materials such as aluminium and barium into the stratosphere, with regional or global coverage, through dispersion by airplanes. 

As a matter of fact, this kind of experiments has been conducted since years in the skies over North America and Europe, also Australia, and occasionally have been reported from Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Mexico and Panama. Groups of concerned citizens have organized themselves to take samples of soil and water and have found alarming levels of aluminium, barium and strontium presence, associated with illnesses like Alzheimer, osteoporosis, anemia, respiratory difficulties, high blood pressure, changes of heart rhythm, stomach irritation, alteration of nervous reflexes, brain-, kidney- and liver-damage, etc. In some places of California for example, the maximum level for aluminium in drinking water has been exceeded 4610 times.  

We need urgent knowledge and action to stop ongoing experiments and prevent their further expansion. The topic of geoengineering must be part of our agenda. Geoengineering can have unpredictable consequences for the Earth and for life. Geoengineering is not compatible with the Rights of Mother Earth.

Apr 10, 2010

'Solar Radiation Management' or Manhattan Project 2.0? Shielding Electronics from Electromagnetic Pulses

By Jutta Schmitt

Every technology on the market today is based on alternating current technologies in relation with semiconductor technologies and if these were seriously threatened this would mean, in the final analysis, that everything that we nowadays need to live, work and recreate ourselves, could be destroyed.  -- Uwe Behnken --

It's intriguing. Just barely a week after the Asilomar Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies had taken place in Pacific Grove, California, we heard honorable knights for the defense of global climate integrity, such as the American Enterprise Institute's Resident Fellow and Co director of the AEI Geoengineering Project Lee Lane, advocate a global imposition of geoengineering technologies on behalf of the advanced, industrialized states of the world in the firm conviction, that "geoengineering experiments shouldn't require global agreement“, because these would in any case be guided by the shining light of the government of the United States and its noble constitutional obligation to promote the welfare of the American people. This is how Lane evokes 'American national interest', this magic, self-sufficient concept that justifies the use of any means in order to obtain, that is, impose the desired objective. (1)

Why declare geoengineering experiments a matter of 'national interest' (read: national security interest)? Why not declare the wellbeing of the planetary climate and overall ecosystems a matter of national or planetary security interest for that matter, and subsequently demand the immediate discontinuance of irrational profit production and unbound consumerism, which got us into this mess in the first place? Why this sudden, violent interest in geoengineering experiments by scientists, international climate panels, United Nations entities, policy centers, research facilities, scientific communities and even Think Tanks with their scores of fellows and scholars? Why did we not see the same violent interest with regard to a binding commitment at the Rio, Kyoto or Copenhagen Earth Summits? And why call for the global imposition of geoengineering technologies on behalf of the 'advanced, more industrialized states' of the world?

Furthermore, if geoengineering experiments are all of a sudden being considered imperative, why does the so-called scientific community, as well as civil and military authorities in various countries of the world deny the fact that one of the proposed climate intervention techniques, pertaining to Solar Radiation Management, has already and progressively been implemented on a considerably large scale since years?   

The hard facts on the ground – or in the sky, for that matter -  don't go away by denying them. Solar Radiation Management by 'injection of sulfate or other materials into the stratosphere' as proposed by the working agenda of the past Asilomar Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies and as seen, photographed, filmed, documented, studied and analyzed during years by ordinary citizens, environmental activists, air traffic controllers, radar technicians, alternative journalists, meteorologists, chemists and physicians, has been occurring over North America and Europe since the nineties. The question is, if the massive blasting into the stratosphere of a mixture of metals and polymers to form a haze-like layer in the skies in order to deflect solar radiation is actually that good of an idea, given the extreme toxicity of the materials being sprayed and given the fact that they finally do come down back to the surface of the Earth. Thus, to a far-sighted, ecological, nature-preserving mind it seems utterly illogical to resort to this kind of measures which have a heavily contaminating effect on the overall environment - air, water, soils, humans, animals, plants, that is, life on the planet as such.  

For the sake of (relative) brevity, we will not go into detail to describe and explain Chemtrail Spraying in this article, but instead encourage our readers to get active and do a thorough research on the Internet by themselves. Suffice it to say here, that the until now publicly denied operations of ongoing Chemtrail Spraying are, in fact, related to 'Solar Radiation Management', consisting of the massive injection of a combination of metallic and other particles - microscopic in scale - into the stratosphere. Interestingly and essential for us to note, it was the late Edward Teller, member of the Manhattan Project and father of the Hydrogen Bomb, co-founder and director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who proposed this geoengineering technique together with Roderick Hyde and Lowell Wood and who designed a variety of mixtures according to the specific tasks they have to perform, among which figure the deployment of "electrically-conducting sheets“ or "metallic 'nets' of ultra-fine mesh-spacing“ in the stratosphere. (2) Equally interesting is the fact, that Teller himself did not only doubt that society's carbon dioxide emissions were responsible for global warming, but questioned global warming as such, when stating in a 1997 article, titled 'The Planet needs a Sunscreen', that "It's wonderful to think that the world is so very wealthy that a single nation -- America -- can consider spending $100 billion a year on a problem that may not exist.“ (3) He explicitly repeated this doubt in a 2002 co-authored paper on 'Active Climate Stabilization.' (4) So, by all means, why then seriously bother about the research, development and actual deployment of 'geoengineering techniques' such as spraying the stratosphere with chemicals, in order to to 'fend off solar radiation' ?!

Considering the counter-productivity of the whole concept of 'solar radiation management' – deflecting solar radiation by creating a layer of highly toxic, artificial 'clouds' may as well block and trap outbound heat from the Earth and thus worsen 'global warming' – the question arises, why it is actually being done.

The very logics of global capitalism and capitalist globalization that dictates each and every consideration, each and every action undertaken by the transnational corporations of this world and their political and military executives on a national and international scale, and which impose their decisions on billions of people, indicates that Solar Radiation Management is NOT being conducted to 'mitigate the effects of global warming' but to address an immediate problem, as severe as that of global warming for the survival of human civilization as we have known it, and which can best be described as the Electronic Achilles Heel of Modern Civilization.

In a 2009 interview with Ludwig Glinz about 'Sferic Frequencies, Semiconductor Technologies and their effective Preservation and Protection', Uwe Behnken, founder of LiveNet Concept 2010 and long time activist against Chemtrail Spraying, suggests that the massive injection of toxic substances into the stratosphere ever since the nineties bears a direct relation to the protection of highly sensitive semiconductor technologies.

    „[..] Natural electromagnetic pulses are known to everybody ever since the film 'The Day After' where we learnt what happens if these are created artificially by means of the explosion of an atom bomb. If an atomic weapon explodes, the electromagnetic pulse causes semiconductor technologies to stop functioning. The same electromagnetic pulses can be registered in the event of  elevated sferic frequencies or nuclear electromagnetic pulses stemming from elevated sun activities, and from our perspective this is another reason why it is undertaken to repel these sferic frequencies with the help of toxic substances, like aluminium oxides and barium-chlorides so as to protect semiconductor technologies.“ (5)

For a better understanding of this statement and its consequences, we'll briefly examine some basic concepts related to semiconductor technology and the reasons for its growing vulnerability.

All modern technology is based on semiconductor technology, used in the production of microelectronic integrated circuits (microchips) on an ever more minute scale and with an ever greater number of in-built 'components' per unit, so to speak. No applied technology in our computerized age, be it in the realm of production, energy, communication, trading, finance, transportation, scientific research and development, space exploration and military operations, works without semiconductor technology. A semiconductor is a material like silicon or germanium (6)  characterized by an "intermediate conductivity" which oscillates between that of a conductor and an insulator and which displays a rapid variation of conductivity depending on temperature. The current in semiconductors is either carried by the flow of electrons or by the flow of positively-charged "holes" in the electron structure of the material. An external electrical field may change a semiconductor's resistivity or 'behavior' for that matter. (7)

One of the problems related to semiconductor technology and as derived from some of its specific characteristics is, that upon exposure to various types of particles of atmospheric radiation - alpha particles, various ions, protons, and neutrons which can 'hit' the device - it can change state or alter its output, leading to an error. This phenomenon is widely known by the manufacturers and has been called 'Single Event Effect' (SEE), which, in turn, is classified in three basic categories: A soft error or 'single event upset' (SEU), a soft or hard error or 'single event latchup (SEL) and a hard failure or 'single event burnout' (SEB).

In the Atmospheric Radiation Effects Whitepaper, prepared by Ken Vranich in 2007, this author discusses the growing impact of atmospheric radiation effects on semiconductor devices, specifically the impact on avionics, identifying natural atmospheric radiation as the overriding cause of Single Event Effects or device failures due to the fact that semiconductor technology undergoes constant sophistication, which means it's being performed on an ever more minute scale. The scale we are talking about is so tiny that the collision of neutrons with the semiconductor material results in the deposition of a charge in this material and thus leads to an alteration of its state or even to the  destruction of the device. The author explains these characteristic errors and failures of semiconductor devices as follows:

    "Single event upset (SEU) is a condition that causes corruption of data or logic state in a device resulting in erroneous output. This is a soft error, meaning that data could be updated or corrected or the part reset and normal functionality would be resumed. ... Single event latchup (SEL) is a condition in some [type of semiconductors] where the energy deposited locally in a device by the single particle has turned on parasitic transistors causing high current through the device. ... This SEL usually causes loss of device functionality. ... Single event burnout (SEB) is a condition in a high voltage device (voltages of 500 or 600 volts) resulting from the energy deposition by a single particle leading to a feedback mechanism that exceeds the breakdown voltage and therefore destroys the device. ... Single Event Effects can also cause secondary breakdown in bipolar junction transistors (BJTs), resulting in burnout of the transistor ... “ (8)  

The Atmospheric Radiation Effects Whitepaper deals essentially with the uncomfortable fact that the failure rate in semiconductor devices has been increasing exponentially due to the steady advancement of semiconductor technology, making them not only vulnerable to high-energy or fast neutrons, but also to low-energy or slow (thermal) neutrons. The author estimates that it will take years until the big manufacturers of integrated circuits will respond to this challenge and warns of the unprecedented consequences that this will have, in this case for aviation electronics, concerning both commercial as well as military avionics and which may lead to the severe limitation of operations or even grounding of aircraft, due to intolerably high processor failure rates. For a combination of technical factors which the author does not specify, he identifies the military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s), crucial in America's ongoing and future warfare operations around the planet, as the type of aircraft most vulnerable to this threat, mainly because they are composed of so called 'commercial-off-the-shelf equipment', leading to what the author says is an "unacceptably high probability of 'loss of command and control'“. (9)

As for the natural causes of atmospheric radiation and their effects on semiconductor devices, the author explains that the exposure to the range of potentially hazardous particles increases with growing latitude and altitude, especially during times of elevated sun activity. As far as the latter is concerned, the author stresses the importance of solar events which can heavily impact radiation levels and thus significantly increase Single Event Effect rates:
    "The sun on an eleven year cycle produces varying sizes of solar flares. These flares send out energetic particles that strike the earth and can affect the entire planet, but especially in the Polar Regions where the earth’s magnetic field is weakest. These particles can cause an increase in the radiation that an aircraft sees by a factor ranging from 10-1000X. The next projected solar peak where these levels could occur is 2011.“ (10)

In this context and with regard to the growing vulnerability of semiconductor technology, in this case in aircraft, the author explains that "using today’s parts could translate into a 10-20% processor failure rate during a single flight on an aircraft in northern latitudes during a moderate solar event“, thus calling into question the "ability of these products to perform as advertised“. He concludes that "for avionics suppliers, this has the potential to create an intolerable liability and field support issue. For the commercial and military end users, this can translate into types of aircraft that would operate with limited mission capabilities or flight restrictions in certain geographic locations and grounding during significant solar events.“ (11)

Considering the impact of sun activities and solar events on semiconductor technology, we can understand the growing importance of solar event 'forecasts'. In May 2009, a team of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sponsored by NASA, has revised the earlier peak prediction from 2007 which foresaw a peak in 2011, and estimates that Solar Cycle number 24 will peak in May 2013 with an intensity expected to be below the average. According to NASA Science News, however,

    "Even a below-average cycle is capable of producing severe space weather. ... The great geomagnetic storm of 1859, for instance, occurred during a solar cycle of about the same size we’re predicting for 2013. The 1859 storm -- known as the "Carrington Event" after astronomer Richard Carrington who witnessed the instigating solar flare -- electrified transmission cables, set fires in telegraph offices, and produced Northern Lights so bright that people could read newspapers by their red and green glow. A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause $1 to 2 trillion in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to ten years for complete recovery." (12)

This is more than a good reason for a really big headache and for mobilizing the world's best scientists in order to research and develop methods capable of shielding modern electronics from the effects of atmospheric radiation! Ken Vranich's observations and subsequent warnings regarding the decreasing reliability of semiconductor technology in the realm of avionics have been discussed earlier by experts of the US military, who fear that world-wide military operations could be dramatically endangered by an increasing dependence on ever more sophisticated electronic devices.

In this sense, Major Scott W. Merkle, in a 1997 paper titled 'Non-Nuclear EMP: Automating the Military May Prove a Real Threat' and which addresses the man-made causes of Electromagnetic Pulses (EMP), first describes the catastrophic consequences that the 'classic' scenario of the detonation of a high-altitude nuclear bomb, for example above Nebraska, would have, whose electromagnetic pulse would render each and every computerized circuit in the continental United States, southern Canada and northern Mexico, useless. In describing the effects, Merkle cites a 1982 writing of no less a man than Edward Teller, regarding heavy electromagnetic pulse radiation:

    "Today there is almost universal dependence on electronic computers. They are used by first-graders as well as research engineers. Industry, communications, financial records, are all at stake here. In the event of heavy EMP radiation, I suspect it would be easier to enumerate the apparatus that would continue to function than the apparatus that would stop.“ (13)

After revising the magnitude and probability of an EMP delivered by the detonation of a high-altitude nuclear bomb, which "could conceivably pulse us back to, shall we say, a simpler time when operations orders were done orally with a sandtable,“ Merkle proceeds to identify in general terms the threat coming from the development of advanced non-nuclear EMP weapons which, he observes, has started off a new arms race. (Although existent at the time, pulsed, directed energy beam weapons like HAARP systems are not explicitly mentioned in this paper). Considering the ever growing dependence of the United States' military on technological progress, Merkle regards  the "pushing of the technology envelope" at all costs a serious problem, as "one burst of EMP" will render the most sophisticated equipment inoperable, stripping the high-tech infantry soldier of the 21st century naked and leaving him in the combat field without his "wondrous gadgets and gizmos“, to just name one example. Merkle thus concludes:  

    "Non-nuclear EMP has the potential to reduce the battlefield equation to very simple terms ... as the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System, All-Source Analysis System, and most other "high tech" intelligence connectivity systems will not be working.“ (14)

Finally and with regard to the same concern, an assessment of 'Electromagnetic Pulse Threats to U.S. Expeditionary Operations in 2010', written by US Air Force Major Colin R. Miller, comes to the conclusion that both, nuclear and non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapons "represent one of the most ominous threats to US National Security in the near term“. Miller subsequently suggests three types of counter-measures: Firstly, implementing specific protection or 'system-hardening' of semiconductor devices at the manufacturer level, secondly, individual shielding of crucial, high-tech components against EMP, and thirdly, shielding larger environments against EMP:       

    "Shielding the environment is a cost-effective solution for EMP protection when a large number of essential electronic devices are collocated. An Air Operations Center (AOC) provides a good example. Incorporating a grounded metallic shield into the building structure and surge protecting power, communications, and antenna lines could protect an entire AOC from EMP. Mobile systems require a different means, such as a Faraday cage, which can protect individual components. A Faraday cage is simply a metallic mesh built around an electronic circuit (such as a fighter aircraft flight control computer) that protects it from EMP." (15)

Given the magnitude and severity of the exponentially growing threat for omnipresent, modern semiconductor technology (and thus modern civilization as we have known it) from nuclear and non-nuclear electromagnetic pulses, from both, natural and man-made sources as shown and documented in the paragraphs above, and connecting back with Uwe Behnken's statement we've mentioned at the beginning and which upholds a direct relation between the injection of toxic particles into the stratosphere and the protection of semiconductor technologies, let us put the whole concept of  'Solar Radiation Management' or 'Solar Radiance Engineering' as recently proposed by climate scientists, into a different perspective.

Considering that the late Edward Teller, father of the Hydrogen Bomb and first-hand expert of the EMP effects that result upon their detonation in space, who in the late nineties and as mentioned earlier, doubted that global warming is anthropogenic (caused by humans) and who even questioned global warming as such, nevertheless suggested that the Earth needed a 'sunscreen', purpose for which he had a specific mixture of metals and chemicals developed at National Livermore Laboratories for the massive injection into the stratosphere to 'cool' the earth with a 'sheet of superfine, reflective mesh', the following questions / hypothesis arise for further, urgent investigation and research:

1. Is 'Solar Radiation Management' or 'Solar Radiance Engineering' -- supposedly designed to mitigate the effects of global warming -- a smokescreen for the general world public behind which another objective is being pursued, that has nothing to do with 'global warming'?

2. Has the massive blasting of metallic particles into the stratosphere been designed to create and uphold a permanent 'metallic shield' in the form of a 'superfine mesh' as suggested by Teller, to build the equivalent of a huge kind of 'Faraday Cage' over certain regions of the Earth in order to protect semiconductor technology from being rendered useless by major, natural or man-made, nuclear and/or non-nuclear, electromagnetic pulse events?

3. Is the bringing-out and upholding of this superfine mesh of metallic particles coupled with HAARP technologies, and if so, in which way?

4. Other than shielding technology, which military applications derive from a superfine mesh of metallic particles in the stratosphere, that have electrically-conductive properties?

5. Considering that until now the vast part of experimental injection of particles into the stratosphere seems to have taken place above NATO countries (16), could it be derived from this that NATO is actively-preemptively preparing for nuclear or non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse events?

6. Are we seeing version 2.0 of the Manhattan Project, this time entrusted with the mission to develop a large-scale shield to fend off the devastating effects of Electromagnetic Pulses, employing thousands of scientists, experts, technicians, military and civil personnel without them knowing what purpose they are working for, by keeping information deliberately fragmented and separate?  

7. Is this the real reason why "geoengineering experiments shouldn't require global agreement" but be imposed on behalf of 'the advanced industrialized states of the world', as advocated by scholars of US Think Thanks that are not precisely known for their love for Mother Nature?

From the countries of the Global South, from Latin America, from Venezuela, we call for a global investigation into these matters, for a global debate and for global, transparent and informed agreement with regard to alternative ways to protect technology, the environment, all forms of life on the planet and planet Earth as such! We say NO to whatever techniques that, for whatever reason, deliberately modify any of the geophysical subsystems of the Earth! We say NO to interfering with planet Earth's geophysical integrity!


(2) Edward Teller, Roderick Hyde and Lowell Wood, Global Warming and Ice Ages: Prospects for Physics-Based Modulation of Global Change, August 1997, pages 10,11.
(3) E. Teller, The Planet needs a Sunscreen, reprinted by Hoover Digest,
(4) Edward Teller, Roderick Hyde and Lowell Wood: Active Climate Stabilization: Practical Physics-Based Approaches to Prevention of Climate Change, April 2002, page 6,
(8) Ken Vranich, The Growing Impact of Atmospheric Radiation Effects on Semiconductor Devices and the Associated Impact on Avionics Suppliers,, our emphasis.
(9) Ibidem, pages 1, 2.
(10) Ibidem, page 3, our emphasis.
(11) Ibidem, page 8.
(13)  Major Scott W. Merkle, Non-Nuclear EMP: Automating the Military May Prove a Real Threat,, our emphasis.
(14) Ibidem, our emphasis.
(15) Major Colin R. Miller (USAF), Electromagnetic Pulse Threats to U.S. Expeditionary Operations in 2010,, our emphasis.