Posted by Charles II on January 16, 2012
John LaForge, truthout, on the latest atrocity:
In the amoral milieu of the corporate bottom line, you can’t blame Tokyo Electric Power Co. for trying.
Tepco owns the six-reactor Fukushima complex that was wrecked by Japan’s March 11 earthquake and smashed by the resulting tsunami. It faces more than $350 billion in compensation and clean-up costs, as well as likely prosecution for withholding crucial information that may have prevented some radiation exposures and for operating the giant station after being warned about the inadequacy of its protections against disasters.
So, when the company was hauled into Tokyo District Court October 31 by the Sunfield Golf Club, which was demanding decontamination of the golf course, Tepco lawyers tried something novel. They claimed the company isn’t liable because it no longer “owned” the radioactive poisons that were spewed from its destroyed reactors.
“Radioactive materials that scattered and fell from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant belong to individual landowners there, not Tepco,” the company said. This stunned the court, the plaintiffs and the press. An attorney for the golf club said, “We are flabbergasted….”
You gotta admit, that’s a novel defense. If they get away with it, I wonder what’s next? Guys claiming that they are not responsible for the deaths of people they shoot because the bullet is not longer in their gun?
Anyway, as we groan about the outrageous conduct of our corporations, it’s good to keep in mind that foreign corporations aren’t sweethearts either.
Posted in corporatists, corruption, crimes, impunity, Japan | Tagged: corporations, crimes, Fujushima, japan, nuclear | 4 Comments »
Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 8, 2011
If a non-trivial number of Capitol Hill legislators of both parties didn’t owe their jobs to Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Nuclear, China wouldn’t be trouncing the US in green growth:
China’s production of green technologies has grown by a remarkable 77 per cent a year, according to the report, which was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and which will be unveiled on Monday at an industry conference in Amsterdam.
“The Chinese have made, on the political level, a conscious decision to capture this market and to develop this market aggressively,” said Donald Pols, an economist with the WWF.
Denmark, a longtime leader in wind energy, derives 3.1 percent of its gross domestic product from renewable energy technology and energy efficiency, or about euro6.5 billion ($9.4 billion), the report said.
The PRC is the largest cleantech producer in terms of money, with green technologies making up more than euro44 billion ($64 billion), or 1.4 percent of its annual gross domestic product. The US? We’re 17th.
It’s not just that the Chinese want a monopoly on worldwide cleantech, though that would be a nice side benefit for them. They want to flat-out survive. Human-caused global warming is a direct and growing threat to China, and the Chinese elites know it.
Seeing empty deserts where glaciers once stood not so long ago — glaciers that feed the great rivers of both China and India — was a real eye-opener for the Chinese central government. The worldwide economic downturn has been a blessing in disguise as not only has it slowed down the rate at which factories and power plants contribute to global climate change (thus buying the world an extra 18 months in which to get its act together), it allowed the central government to force the shutdown and retooling of older, polluting establishments so that they would run greener and cleaner upon reopening.
Of course, this also means that China is no longer as “business-friendly” as it once was, so various industries (such as HTI, or Hutchinson Technology) are looking towards Thailand, Indonesia and even India (Foxconn, which makes Apple’s iPads and iPods and iPhones, is going to India from China later this year) in a desperate bid to avoid having to honor environmental and labor regulations. But Thailand is an unstable mess and India and Indonesia are themselves cracking down on polluters and exploiters.
The free ride for the polluting and exploiting CEOs is over. Increasingly, they are being forced to choose between cleaning up their act or attempting to set up shop in places that are either politically unstable or have no infrastructure capable of supporting a multinational business.
(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)
Posted in China, infrastructure, international, solar, wind power | Tagged: China, cleantech, coal, environment, fossil fuels, glaciers, global warming, Himalayas, nuclear, Oil, solar, wind | 2 Comments »