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Nov 15, 2009

According to an article in The Independent, the GLOBAL number of swine flu deaths so far is 6,250. Of course a tragedy for the affected families, no doubt. However, let's again put these figures in perspective: that's PEANUTS compared with the 20.5 MILLION who died of starvation, just so far in 2009. According to Jean Ziegler (the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food for 2000 to March 2008 in his book L'Empire de la honte, Fayard, 2007), mortality due to malnutrition accounted for 58% of the total mortality in 2006: "In the world, approximately 62 million people, all causes of death combined, die each year. One in twelve people worldwide are malnourished. In 2006, more than 36 millions died of hunger or diseases due to deficiencies in micronutrients.

And considering that, as economist Amartya Sen observed, in recent decades, famine has always a problem of food distribution and/or poverty (inability to exercise purchase/ procure food), as there has been sufficient food to feed the whole population of the world (so NO need to push GM - this will only make things worse, putting start of food chain in hands of global corporate behemoths), this is a collective disgrace in my opinion.

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Posted: Nov 15, 2009 8:19am
Nov 10, 2009

According to an article in The Independent, the total number of deaths from swine flu in the UK so far is 154. Though these are tragedies for the affected families, let's keep it in perspective: road traffic FATALITIES in the UK in 2008: 2,530; all road traffic casualties in the UK in 2008: 212,733. But do we stop driving? No, we focus on the MANY less affected by swine flu (and private corporate companies heat up swine flu PANIC).

On food: more than £12bn worth of food and drink that could have been consumed is thrown out every year by householders in the UK alone, according to new figures today that reveal the scale of the UK's food waste mountain.

According to an article in The Guardian, the world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit (according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying). But going for nuclear is NO alternative in my view: for starters the UK is thinking of just burying the nuclear waste... out of sight, out of mind (just small matter of £18 bn price tag and morality of dumping consequences of our choices onto generations after us).

However, to not make you (and myself) too depressed to stay hopeful and take action (as is our God-given duty to look after Creation):
When thinking of Spain, do we have images of a country full of wind turbines? No, but, according to an article in The Times, Spain was yesterday celebrating its commitment to renewable energy after wind turbines dotted across the country produced more than half of all its electricity for the first time. If they can do it, why not others?

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Posted: Nov 10, 2009 4:02am
Jul 23, 2009

OK, I'm not a doctor so am not dispensing health advice (though medical qualification seems no longer necessary as 'swine flu hotline' - which can allocate swine flu pills - is manned by people working for company normally dealing with supermarket home delivery queries etc), but I have, thank God, been blessed with some intelligence... and something sounds too odd (well, actually, it makes total sense... from a commercial company's point of view especially as US tax payers have paid for much of the research!):

A swine flu vaccine will be rolled out BEFORE safety tests are out, plus - most worryingly - the makers have received assurance of immunity from legal prosecution (Kathleen Sebelius, US Secretary of Health and Human Services signed a document making federal officials and vaccine makers immune from lawsuits related to any ill effects from the swine flu vaccine - the FDA even wrote to the CDC: "I am waiving current good manufacturing practice requirements")... what incentive does the company (remember: a private commercial company whose aim, even duty, is to make money for shareholders!) not to cut corners?! With vaccine in 1979 one person died from swine flu (yes, just one and that case was disputed), while hundreds were affected by Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a sometimes fatal inflammation of the spine. I don't want any vaccine like that!

{edit: of COURSE I care about people's health and it's sad when anyone dies. However, when someone dies every few seconds from hunger and we say 'ah well, that's life; given charity some money' and the number of people killed in road accidents in 2008 in the UK was 2,538. In accidents reported to the police 28,572 people were killed or seriously injured in 2008 in the UK and there were just under 231,000 road casualties in Great Britain in 2008 (see article in The Guardian for some more stats), I believe we ARE taking swine flu out of proportion. And more dangerously, many people are falling victim to side effects of Tamiflu - brace yourself for side-effects of untested vaccine! - and other illnesses get masked}

So before sending on messages and information that may support swine flu panic, remember: "O you who believe! if an evil-doer comes to you with a report, look carefully into it, lest you harm a people in ignorance, then be sorry for what you have done." (Quran, chapter 49, verse 6)

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Posted: Jul 23, 2009 11:01am


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Rianne ten Veen
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