Sep 01

Must-see.


31.08.2016
Description:

August is still not over but more northern hemisphere snows appear over Russia and USA, with volcanic eruptions on a 100 year cycle in Iceland along with early arrival of Northern Lights in August.

Hail and snow Colorado http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic…
Volcano in Iceland repeats 100 year cycle https://iceagenow.info/unusually-larg…
http://news.trust.org/item/2016082913…
Russian snows for the third time in August https://www.gismeteo.ru/news/klimat/2…
http://hmn.ru/index.php?index=1&ts=16…

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Sep 01

Mongolian officials tell farmers to harvest now – “It may get cold earlier than usual”:

A risk of frost affecting harvesting of wheat and vegetables.

*****

24 Aug 2016 – The Mongolian government on Wednesday appealed to members of the public and students to actively help in the harvest because “it may get cold earlier than usual.”

The Food, Agriculture and Light Industry Ministry encouraged agricultural farms and businesses to hire students and youth to harvest crops as soon as possible.

Mongolia is about to harvest wheat and vegetables from 491,200 hectares of land. Continue reading »

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May 30

The slow and deadly dzud in Mongolia:

So far this year, more than one million animals have been killed by the dzud. The word conjures up an image of a mythical monster, but it is a peculiar weather phenomenon and the fear of herders on the Mongolian steppes, as journalist Helen Wright reports.

The piles of dead, frozen sheep and goats lie stacked against the rocks, just out of sight.

They are victims of the dzud, an unseen and brutal natural disaster unique to Mongolia where a summer drought combines with a harsh winter and vast numbers of livestock die from either starvation or cold.

The last dzud in 2010 killed eight million animals. It is thought to descend in five-yearly cycles and each time it wreaks havoc.

“We are trying so hard to keep them alive,” 50-year-old herder Bayankhand Myagmar says, talking about her dead sheep and goats. “But nothing we do is working.”

In Mongolia it hasn’t rained since last July and this winter temperatures dropped to as low as -50C for days on end. Snowfall covered up to 60% of the country and fell heavier than usual. Continue reading »

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Mar 24

“This winter is the harshest I have experienced.”


Mongolian Ger

Mongolia herders face disaster: Red Cross:

Hundreds of thousands of farm animals have perished in a slow-moving natural disaster in Mongolia and the international aid response has been insufficient, the Red Cross said Friday.

Mongolia has been hit by a devastating natural phenomenon known as a “dzud”, said the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) — a hot summer drought followed by a severe winter.

The combination spells doom for livestock in a country where IFRC said a third of the thinly-spread population rely on animal husbandry for their livelihoods.

Goats, sheep and cows die en masse, unable to graze sufficiently in the warmer months to build up the reserves necessary to withstand later temperatures that regularly drop to -50 degrees Celsius.

More than 350,000 animals have already died, but more than a million deaths are expected, according to the latest available data from the UN mission in the country, IFRC said. Continue reading »

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Nov 25

Mongolia banned importing cars from Japan (Fukushima Diary, Nov. 24, 2011):

Having measured radiation from imported cars, Ulan Bator custom office and nuclear energy department of Mongolia decided to ban importing cars from Japan.

They will start stopping importing cars from Japan as of 11/30/2011.

Mongolian government have been checking imported cars since May,and 18 cars turned to be irradiated.

(Source)


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May 30

US, Japan Jointly Push for Spent Fuel Storage Facility in Mongolia To Sell Their Nuke Plants (Ex-SKF, May 29, 2011):

It’s an old piece of news (May 9, 2011) which I think should have received a wider coverage in light of the on-going crisis at Fukushima I Nuke Plant (which receives little coverage on its own these days).

Japan and the US want to build a spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Mongolia, and Mongolia is very eager to join the nuclear power generation club by building the first nuke plant in the country, undeterred by the Fukushima accident.

The reason for the push for the spent fuel storage facility in Mongolia? So that the US-Japan joint ventures that sell nuclear power plants can sell the plants as a package deal that comes with the spent fuel storage, competing with Russians who already offer such a package deal.

Mongolia has faults capable of producing earthquakes of Magnitude 8.

From Reuters (5/9/2011):

TOKYO, May 9 (Reuters) – Japan and the United States plan to jointly build a spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Mongolia to serve customers of their nuclear plant exporters, pushing ahead despite Japan’s prolonged nuclear crisis, the Mainichi daily said on Monday.

A Trade Ministry official said Japan, U.S. and Mongolia officials, at a meeting shortly before Japan’s March 11 earthquake, informally discussed possible construction of a nuclear waste storage facility for countries with nuclear power plants but no spent fuel storage capability of their own.

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Dec 30

GOLDMAN PRIZEWINNER SHOOTS UP FOREIGN MINING FIRMS IN MONGOLIA

WESTERN DECEPTIONS AND THE EXTINCTION OF THE NOMADS

Predatory capitalism has invaded Mongolia — the savage western hordes overrunning the land — and but for the recent Hollywood movie spectacle Mongol [1] and colorful travel magazine articles no one in America hears much of anything about the place. Behind the bells and whistles promoting ‘democracy’, ‘conservation’, ‘human rights’, and a ‘free press’, Mongolia is under attack and the people suffering a world of hurt. The same companies destroying Mongolia are destroying Congo and Canada and everywhere else they appear. Meanwhile, three years after winning the Goldman Environmental Prize — the ‘Green Nobel’ — Mongol herder Tsetsegee Munkhbayar shot at foreign mining operations and thus he is denounced and shunned by the same foreigners who recognized him as a hero. This is a story about the killing of the earth, the killing of truth, the killing of hope — and the killing of the nomad’s way.

In early September 2010, a small band of Mongolian citizens armed with hunting rifles opened fire on gold mining equipment owned by two foreign mining firms operating illegally in northern Mongolia. One of the four armed activists was Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, a 2007 winner of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize — the ‘Green Nobel’ — awarded annually to pivotal environmentalists taking a stand around the globe.

“With unwavering passion,” reads the National Geographic Emerging Explorers profile of Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, “he inspired thousands of local villagers, held press conferences, organized town hall meetings, lobbied legislators, and led protest marches — mobilizing an unprecedented level of grassroots participation among citizens who previously felt they had no power to shape government policy.” [2]

Three years after winning the award — and a whole lot more illegal mining and pollution later — Munkhbayar’s little gang of four and their militant actions against the capitalist invasion remain in complete media whiteout in the western press: it’s as if the early September shootings never happened. While the civic activists face possible prosecution and extended jail terms — if not sudden unexplained death — rapacious mining companies further plunder and pollute the land.

The gang of four — Tsetsegee Munkhbayar, G. Bayaraa, D. Tumurbaatar and O. Sambuu-Yondon — are environmentalists from the United Movement of Mongolian Rivers and Lakes (UMMRL), a consortium of Mongolian groups organized to fight foreign extractive industries that have invaded the fledgling ‘democracy’. UMMRL was formed in June 4, 2009 after its predecessor, the Mongolian Nature Protection Coalition (MNPC), dissolved in the spring of 2008. Tsetsegee Munkhbayar — and many collaborators he works with — was pivotal to the creation of both MNPC and UMMRL.

Behind the story of Tsetsegee Munkhbayar is a story of greed, private profit, deception, betrayal, stealth and heartbreak. Just three years after becoming a global hero, Tsetsegee Munkhbayar is today shunned by the people who lobbied to make him a Goldman Award winner, and they have even branded him and his colleagues as terrorists.

“The shooters sent a powerful message,” reported EurasiaNet, the only foreign media outlet to report on the recent shooting action. “Puraam, a Chinese firm, and Centerra Gold, a Canadian-operated company, “aren’t welcome in the area, one of Mongolia’s only forested regions.” [3] Centerra is also operating in Kyrgyzstan, a former Russian republic where paramilitary government forces repressed public protests and shot hundreds of unarmed protesters in 2010. [4]

Centerra Gold and Puraam Mining are operating on 168 hectares of land and contaminating the headwaters of the Selenge, Mongolia’s largest river, and the source for Lake Baikal, the world’s largest freshwater lake. The Gatsuur deposit, currently exploited by Centerra Gold, contains an estimated 1.3 million ounces of gold valued at tens of billions of dollars. Centerra’s Boroo gold mine began production in 2004 and yields an average of 180,000 ounces of gold annually.

The locals see very little from the gold taken from their lands. At least 70% of the population lives in absolute poverty. Alcoholism is a national epidemic. The social fabric is unraveling. Human trafficking is a big business. Everything is for sale, or already sold.

“[People] see the 1990s privatization rush and years of harsh weather as a kind of economic one-two punch. Twenty years after Mongolia peacefully threw off 70 years of communism, one-third of Mongolia’s 2.9 million people live below the poverty level of less than $2 a day; even white-collar workers like doctors and teachers can earn as little as $300 a month.” [5]


Mining operations devastate the sensitive Mongolian environment. Photo credit: unknown.

The mining companies arrived in Mongolia hand-in-hand with the international NGOs — euphemistically called ‘non-government’ organizations — and they promote the western imposed ideal of ‘privatization’. The unstated assumptions that came along with this are that freedom-loving westerners are uniquely qualified to teach Mongolians about democracy, human rights, good government and environmental stewardship. Tsetsegee Munkhbayar was patronized and promoted by this framework of foreign intervention.

“According to the promoters,” writes Dr. Joan Roelofs, “the precondition for such benefits is a ‘free market’ economy, or the adoption of ‘neoliberalism’, which entails the privatization of most government functions, deregulation of business, abolition of subsidies and welfare, and availability of all assets (land, TV stations, national newspapers, etc.) for purchase by any corporation, regardless of nationality. Freedom also means that foreigners can start any business anywhere…” [6]

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Jul 21

Herders leave the steppe after losing a fifth of their livestock. Now foreign firms are to exploit Mongolia’s vast resources


A day at the Mongolian horse races

A lifetime of experience, years of training and a sleepless night of preparation – yet Tsedendamba’s stallion, in the fifth and prime year of its racing career, trailed across the finish line in 12th place.

“Last year it came in second. This time we had the dzud, bitter winter conditions, and that’s why I didn’t push it harder in training. The horse is too thin,” said the 61-year-old herder.

Mongolia’s national festival of Naadam, which saw contests in the “manly sports” of archery, racing and wrestling across the country last week, dates from before Genghis Khan’s time and celebrates the country’s fabled nomadic spirit. Almost a third of the population are herders.

But the catastrophic winter has killed millions of animals and left thousands of rural families struggling to survive. It has also exacerbated the country’s financial woes, increasing the pressure to exploit its vast but largely untapped mineral resources. Two decades after the collapse of communism, Mongolia may be at another turning point.

Tsedendamba, who like many Mongolians uses only his given name, was experienced enough to foresee the dzud, or “white death”. He roamed far across central Övorkhangai province to ensure his livestock fed well despite the summer drought. He prepared fodder for the coming winter and built up their shelter. Others slaughtered the weakest animals to ensure more food for the strongest.

None of it was enough. Temperatures fell to -50C and thick snow buried the grass. By the time it finally melted in May, nearly 9,000 families had seen their entire herds freeze or starve to death. Another 33,000, including Tsedendamba’s, lost half their livestock. Almost 10m cattle, sheep, goats, horses, yaks and camels have died, a fifth of the country’s total, at a cost of 520bn tögrögs (£250m). Continue reading »

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Mar 30

Appeal for Mongolian herders after cold kills livestock

mongolia_snowstorm Mongolia has been hit by unusually severe winter weather

The International Red Cross has appealed for help for thousands of Mongolian herders who have lost their livestock because of extreme cold.

The Red Cross said that millions of animals had perished during the country’s hardest winter in years.

It says it needs over $900,000 (£603,000) to provide emergency assistance to the worst-hit families and restock herds.

A BBC correspondent says those animals who survived are running out of food.

In recent months temperatures in Mongolia have dropped below -40C.

Local residents call it a “dzud” – a severe winter following a very dry summer, which has left reserves of fodder low. Continue reading »

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