Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

EMF Studies

04 May 2012

Stunning Actions Raise Awareness of Environmental Issues

We must praise the courage of persons who risk their well-being – and even arrest – to raise awareness of environmental issues concerning all of us. It is a sad comment on society that often it takes such daring actions as these to wake up the world. All these actions took place on the same day, 2 May 2012.

The value of water:   In order to sensitize the population to the inestimable value of water, Ernst Bromeis, a 44-year-old Swiss from canton Grisons began to swim the 1,230 kilometer (765 mile) length of the Rhine River from eastern Switzerland to its mouth at the North Sea near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The journey, which began at 2,330 meters (7,642 feet) altitude in the frozen mountain lake of Toma, the source of the Rhine, is estimated to take 27 days. At times, Bromeis will have to walk beside the river due to its depth and obstacles (cascades and 30 locks).
UPDATE (15 May 2012):  After 15 days, Bromeis had to abandon his attempt to swim the length of the Rhine River due to severe weather conditions:  icy, heavy  rain and extreme cold.

Ernst Bromeis
Bromeis calls himself « the Ambassador of Water ». He wishes to draw attention to issues such as water treatment, construction of wells in developing countries, and climate change which is causing rapid melting of glaciers, threatening hydroelectric production and water reserves. “We are all composed of three quarters water and we must drink it every day. Water is life. The access to clean water is one of the fundamental rights of mankind, however billions of people are deprived of it. This is intolerable. Moreover, water is vulnerable. It can be destroyed… We live as if our reserves of water will never be exhausted. »

Swimming the Rhine represents an enormous challenge. Why has Bromeis chosen this river? Some 50 million persons live along its banks and Europe’s largest industries have been installed there. In certain places the water is so polluted that Bromeis may have to abandon the exploit due to possible effects on his health. (Ref: “Relier les Grisons et les Pays-Bas à la nage, 20 Minutes, 3 May 2012, « L’eau devrait être servie avec style « , Cuisine de Saison.)

Dangers of nuclear energy:  A Greenpeace activist flew a motorized paraglider onto the grounds of the Bugey nuclear power plant in southeastern France. The action was meant to send a message to the two French presidential candidates, Nicholas Sarkozy and François Hollande “who are denying the risk of nuclear power… We wanted to illustrate an external danger, like the fall of an airplane onto a nuclear plant”, said a spokesperson for Greenpeace. “France still refuses to analyze this risk for its reactors.” The activist was detained by police.


France relies on nuclear energy to produce 75% of its electricity. A recent article published on the Greenpeace France Website, says that two-thirds of French people believe that a nuclear accident as serious as that of Fukushima could occur in France. A majority (54%) believe it is possible to dispense with nuclear power. About 88% of the population say they are not sufficiently informed about security measures in case of a nuclear accident.

(Ref: “To Highlight Dangers, Greenpeace Activist Stages Aerial Invasion of French Nuclear Plant”, Common Dreams, 2 May 2012, “Nucléaire: les Français en manqué d’information … mais conscients du risque”, Greenpeace France, 26 March 2012.)

Risks of coal to health and climate:  Five persons from the RainforestAction Network climbed to the top of the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, to unfurl a 70-by-25-foot banner rebranding the stadium the “Bank of Coal”. The Bank of America is the leading financier of the coal industry, which poisons air and water. All five persons were arrested.

In the past two years, the Bank of America has injected US$6.74 billion into the U.S. coal industry, funding every sector of the coal industry, including companies operating controversial mountaintop removal coal mining. President Obama will accept the Democratic Party’s nomination to a second term in early September at this Stadium which symbolizes the “cozy relationship” between banks and the Government.

Coal burning is responsible for one-third of U.S. carbon emissions which is the main contributor to climate change. It is also a major public health risk. Coal pollution is responsible for 13,000 premature deaths in the United States every year, more than US$100 billion in annual health costs and more than 200,000 asthma attacks annually.

by Meris Michaels
(Ref. Press Release from RainforestAction Network, 2 May 2012.)

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