Dahr Jamail

The end of ice: Climate scientists are already grieving for the world we've lost

Recently, I was in Homer, Alaska, to talk about my book The End of Ice. Seconds after I had thanked those who brought me to the small University of Alaska campus there, overwhelmed with some mix of sadness, love, and grief about my adopted state -- and the planet generally -- I wept.

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BP's Toxic Gulf Coast Legacy: When Covering Up a Crime Takes Precedence Over Human Health

On April 20, 2010, BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. Over the next 87 days, it gushed at least 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, creating the worst human-made environmental disaster in US history and afflicting the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

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The U.S. Navy Is Poisoning Local Water Supplies Across the Nation With Toxic Chemicals

Washington State's Whidbey Island already has problems with inadequate water supplies. Located in Puget Sound, the residents have to face a long, dry summer with no aquifer replenishment and ongoing threats of saltwater intrusion.

Copyright Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

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Scientists Predict There Will Be No Glaciers in the Contiguous U.S. by 2050 - but Trump Is Stomping on the Gas Pedal

Given that life originated in the oceans, it should be cause for concern that a recently published study revealed that the depletion of dissolved oxygen in Earth's oceans is occurring much faster than previously believed.

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Naval Exercises Add Trillions of Pieces of Plastic Debris to Oceans

For the next two decades, the U.S. Navy will inject hundreds of thousands of pounds of flares and billions of metal-coated glass fibers into ocean waters off the coasts of Washington and Oregon.

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James Mattis Is a War Criminal: I Experienced His Attack on Fallujah Firsthand

Retired marine General James Mattis, who retired from being the head of CENTCOM in 2013, has become known recently for his stance against what he calls "political Islam."

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U.S. Military Plans to Dump 20,000 Tons of Heavy Metals and Explosives Into the Oceans

The U.S. Navy has been conducting war-game exercises in US waters for decades, and in the process, it has left behind tons of bombs, heavy metals, missiles, sonar buoys, high explosives and depleted uranium munitions that are extremely harmful to both humans and marine life.

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The Navy's Use of Depleted Uranium in America's Coastal Waters Threatens Humans, Wildlife

Earlier this month, Truthout reported that the U.S. Navy is knowingly introducing toxic metals and chemicals into the environment during its war game exercises.

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Navy Admits to Having Released Chemicals Known to Injure Infants' Brains

For decades, the U.S. Navy, by its own admission, has been conducting war game exercises in U.S. waters using bombs, missiles, sonobuoys (sonar buoys), high explosives, bullets and other materials that contain toxic chemicals—including lead and mercury—that are harmful to both humans and wildlife.

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Polar Emergency: Arctic Expert Warns Sea Ice Could 'Reach Zero' in Two Years

Arctic sea ice is in big trouble.

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When Whales Cannot Hear: Ocean Noise Doubling Every 10 Years

A blue whale is able to communicate with another blue whale across the breadth of an entire ocean basin, and can hear storms more than 1,000 miles away.

Copyright, Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

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Global Fisheries Are Collapsing - What Happens When There Are No Fish Left?

"Commercial overexploitation of the world's fish stocks is severe," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said back in 2012. "Many species have been hunted to fractions of their original populations. More than half of global fisheries are exhausted, and a further third are depleted."

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Climate Disruption in Overdrive: Submerged Cities and Melting That 'Feeds on Itself'

As the presidential campaign circus dominates headlines across the U.S., glaring signs the planet is undergoing abrupt anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) abound.

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Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach Highest Point in 15 Million Years

Recently, a Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker ship took an interesting trip into the Arctic. The ship found no ice to break, despite the fact that it was the dead of winter and barely 800 miles from the North Pole.

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Freak Storms and Butterfly Die-Offs: Welcome to the Future We've Been Warning You About

The year 2015 will go down in history, at least until next year, as the hottest year ever recorded on the planet.

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The Arctic Is Melting at a Record Pace -  and It's Having a Scary Impact on Global Weather

Arctic sea ice is melting at a record pace - and every summer looks grimmer. This past summer saw the ice pack at its fourth-lowest level on record, and the overall trend in recent decades suggests this will only continue.

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From Rising Seas to Walruses, the Arctic's Endangerment Affects Us All

This article originally appeared on Truthout.org.

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After White House Rejects Keystone XL, Battle Against Larger Texas Pipeline Intensifies

If a couple of billionaires get their way, a 143-mile-long, 42-inch high pressure natural gas transmission pipeline will be built right through the heart of Texas' starkly beautiful and remote Chihuahuan desert. Plans are currently in the works for the pipeline, which would be larger in diameter than the infamous Keystone XL.

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'Unlawful and Fatally Flawed': U.S. Navy to Conduct Dangerous War Games Over National Forest

The U.S. Navy aims to begin conducting electromagnetic warfare training across much of Washington State's Olympic Peninsula soon.

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Environmentalists Sue EPA Over Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico

The second largest dead zone in the world is located in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Mass Extinction: It's the End of the World as We Know It

This story originally appeared in Truthout.

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El Salvador Farmers Successfully Defy Monsanto

The perils of ingesting food that has any contact with a Monsanto-produced product are in the news on nearly a weekly basis.

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Over 180,000 Marine Mammals May Die in Navy's Arctic War Games

I lived in Anchorage for 10 years and spent much of that time climbing in and on the spine of the state, the Alaska Range. Three times I stood atop the mountain the Athabaskans call Denali, "the great one." During that decade, I mountaineered for more than half a year on that magnificent state’s highest peaks.  It was there that I took in my own insignificance while living amid rock and ice, sleeping atop glaciers that creaked and moaned as they slowly ground their way toward lower elevations.

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What Went Wrong In Iraq?

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We're Looking at the End of Humanity -- And It Might Happen Sooner Than You Think

I grew up planning for my future, wondering which college I would attend, what to study, and later on, where to work, which articles to write, what my next book might be, how to pay a mortgage, and which mountaineering trip I might like to take next.

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America, You Crushed My Country and Now It Has No Future

This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch.

Back then, everybody was writing about Iraq, but it’s surprising how few Americans, including reporters, paid much attention to the suffering of Iraqis.  Today, Iraq is in the news again. The words, the memorials, the retrospectives are pouring out, and again the suffering of Iraqis isn’t what’s on anyone’s mind.  This was why I returned to that country before the recent 10th anniversary of the Bush administration’s invasion and why I feel compelled to write a few grim words about Iraqis today.

But let’s start with then. It’s April 8, 2004, to be exact, and I’m inside a makeshift medical center in the heart of Fallujah while that predominantly Sunni city is under siege by American forces. I’m alternating between scribbling brief observations in my notebook and taking photographs of the wounded and dying women and children being brought into the clinic.

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Iraq, 2013: The Horrors Remain the Same -- Rape, Executions and Torture Abound

Baghdad - Heba al-Shamary (name changed for security reasons) was released last week from an Iraqi prison where she spent the last four years. 

"I was tortured and raped repeatedly by the Iraqi security forces," she told Al Jazeera. "I want to tell the world what I and other Iraqi women in prison have had to go through these last years. It has been a hell."

Heba was charged with terrorism, as so many Iraqis who are detained by the Iraqi security apparatus are charged. 

"I now want to explain to people what is occurring in the prisons that [Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki and his gangs are running," Heba added. "I was raped over and over again, I was kicked and beaten and insulted and spit upon."

Heba's story, horrific as it is, unfortunately is but one example of what a recent report from Amnesty International refers to as "a grim cycle of human rights abuses" in Iraq today.

The report, "Iraq: Still paying a high price after a decade of abuses", exposes a long chronology of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees committed by Iraqi security forces, as well as by foreign troops, in the wake of the US-led 2003 invasion. 

Speaking on condition of anonymity because her nephew remains in prison, an Iraqi woman told Al Jazeera how he was arrested by Iraqi security forces when he was 18-years-old, under the infamous Article Four which gives the government the ability to arrest anyone "suspected" of terrorism, and charged with terrorism. She told, in detail, of how he has been treated:

"They beat him with metal pipes, with harsh curse words and much swearing about his sect and his Allah (because he is Sunni) and why God is not helping him, and that they will bring up their mothers and sisters to rape them," she explained to Al Jazeera.  "Then they use electricity to burn different places of his body. They took all his cloths off in winter and left them naked out in the yard to freeze."

Her nephew, who was released after four years imprisonment after the Iraqi appeals court deemed him innocent, was then arrested 10 days after his release, again under Article 4. 

While he was free, he informed his aunt of how he and other detainees were tortured.

"They made some other inmates stand barefoot during Iraq's summer on burning concrete pavement to have sunburn, and without drinking water until they fainted. They took some of them, broke so many of their bones, mutilated their faces with a knife and threw them back in the cell to let the others know that this is what will happen to them."

Her nephew was tortured every day because he would not confess to a crime he did not commit, nor give any names for who had done it because he allegedly did not know.

"Finally, after the death of many of his inmates under torture, he agreed to sign up a false confession written by the interrogators, even though he had witnesses who have seen him in another place the day that crime has happened," she added.

He remains in prison, where he has told his aunt he is now being tortured by militiamen that are brought into the prison to torture detainees, and one of his eyes has been lanced by them.

Yousef Abdul Rahman has an equally shocking story, from being detained in 2011 and spending four months in "the worst of prisons." 

"I was kept in a Maliki prison, where they dumped cold water on me and used electricity on me," he told Al Jazeera. "Many of the prisoners with me were raped. They were raped with sticks and bottles. I saw the blood on that place of their bodies from when it happened, and I saw so many men this happened to."

In today's Iraq, it is unfortunately all too easy to find Iraqis who have had loved ones who have been detained and tortured, and the trend is increasing.

‘This was really harmful to me'

Ahmed Hassan, a 43-year-old taxi driver, was detained by Iraqi police at his home in the Adhamiyah district of Baghdad in December 2008. He was charged with "terrorism", and held in a federal police prison in nearby Khadimiyah.

Hassan told Al Jazeera the prison was run by the Ministry of Interior, but alleged it was overseen by Prime Minister al-Maliki himself.

He said he was regularly tortured and held in a six-by-four metre cell with "at least 120 detainees, with a small toilet that has no door, and scarce running water." 

Prisoners received one meal a day that was often undercooked. And it was so crowded that "most of us would be forced to sleep standing", he said.

Hassan explained that his jailors had "various techniques of torture."

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'Falluja Babies' and Depleted Uranium -- America's Toxic Legacy in Iraq

Fallujah, Iraq - Contamination from Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions and other military-related pollution is suspected of causing a sharp rises in congenital birth defects, cancer cases, and other illnesses throughout much of Iraq.

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Assault on Gaza Flotilla Ship: 'Sabotaged by Divers' in Port, Attacked by Legal Group Funded by Christian Right 'Mad Pastor' John Hagee

The following are two news stories revealing an orchestrated attempt to prevent the launch of the 2nd flotilla ship aimed at breaking Israel's naval blockade of Gaza.

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Full Meltdown: Fukushima Called the 'Biggest Industrial Catastrophe in the History of Mankind'

 "Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind," Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

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