Project Censored spotlights the news that’s most underreported, misrepresented or ignored by MSM
Published: November 14, 2012
We thought the sea was infinite and inexhaustible. It is not. The overall rise in ocean temperature has led to the largest movement of marine species in 2 to 3 million years, according to scientists from the Climate Change and European Marine Ecosystems Research project.
In a haunting article highlighted by Project Censored, reporter Julia Whitty paints a tenuous seascape — overfished, acidified, warming — and describes how the destruction of the ocean's complex ecosystems jeopardizes the entire planet, not just the 70 percent that is water. Whitty compares ocean acidification, caused by global warming, to acidification that was one of the causes of the "Great Dying," a mass extinction 252 million years ago. Life on earth took 30 million years to recover.
A February 2012 study of 14 protected and 18 unprotected ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea demonstrated that this previously healthy sea is now quickly being depleted of resources. On a more hopeful note, the international team of scientists conducting the three-year study found that, in well-enforced marine reserve areas, the fish populations were five to 10 times greater than the fish populations in unprotected areas. The work of these scientists encourages the establishment and maintenance of marine reserves.
Sources: Julia Whitty, "The End of a Myth," OnEarth, Feb. 27, 2012; Richard Gray, "Warming Oceans Cause Largest Movement of Marine Species in Two Million Years," Telegraph (UK), June 26, 2011; David A. Gabel, "Overfishing the Mediterranean," Environmental News Network, March 8, 2012
3. Fukushima information blackout
A plume of toxic fallout floated from Japan after the tragic Fukushima nuclear disaster on March 11, 2011. Full information about what descended where has been hard to come by, and fears remain about the extent of health risks. Yet the Project Censored system shows its weaknesses in this Top 10 pick. Spread over more than 20 universities, researched by students and overseen by sometimes-overwhelmed academics, the system can be vulnerable to knee-jerk reactions and rushed edits. In retrospect, says Mickey Huff, the point he really wanted to make with this chapter was that more needs to be learned about Fukushima's aftermath — but, sadly, that's not all the chapter says. It prominently summarizes a study that Huff now acknowledges is "squirrelly at best" and then makes things even worse by exaggerating and misstating the study's claims. What Project Censored does stand by is the claim that Japanese and American officials downplayed or lied about Fukushima fallout, and that the mainstream media has failed to follow up on the story.
Sources: Alex Roslin, "What Are Officials Hiding about Fukushima?" Straight.com (Vancouver), Oct. 20, 2011, Danny Schechter, "Beyond Fukishima: A World in Denial about Nuclear Risks," Common Dreams, March 21, 2011
4. FBI informants instigate terrorist plots
Here is Project Censored back to one of the things it does best — casting light on well-researched, well-documented explorations of abuses of power.
We know that FBI agents go into communities — especially those with high concentrations of Muslims — both undercover and in the guise of building relationships, quietly gathering information about individuals. This is part of an approach to finding what the FBI now considers the most likely kind of terrorists, "lone wolves." Its strategy: "seeking to identify those disgruntled few who might participate in a plot given the means and the opportunity. And then, in case after case, the government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity," writes Mother Jones journalist Trevor Aaronsen. The publication, along with the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley, examined the results of this strategy, 508 cases classified as terrorism-related that have come before the U.S. Department of Justice since the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. In 243 of these cases, an informant was involved; in 49 cases, an informant actually led the plot. And "with three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings."
Trevor Aaronson, "The Informants," Mother Jones, Sept./Oct. 2011; "FBI Organizes Almost All Terror Plots in the US," RT.com, Aug. 23, 2011
5. First-ever Federal Reserve audit reveals at least $1 trillion in loans and conflicting interests
The Federal Reserve, the United States' quasi-private central bank, was audited for the first time in its history this year. The audit report states, "From late 2007 through mid-2010, Reserve Banks provided more than 1 trillion dollars ... in emergency loans to the financial sector to address strains in credit markets and to avert failures of individual institutions believed to be a threat to the stability of the financial system." These loans had significantly lower interest and fewer conditions than the high-profile TARP bailouts, and were rife with conflicts of interest. Some examples: the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served as a board member of the New York Federal Reserve at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. William Dudley, who is now the New York Federal Reserve president, was granted a conflict of interest waiver to let him keep investments in AIG and General Electric at the same time the companies were given bailout funds. The audit was restricted to Federal Reserve lending during the financial crisis.
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