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Ban Weapons in Space * Energy Update * New Fuel Source * Arafat and Jenin

01 May 2002

This issue begins with an article stating that Canada could play a critical role in the prevention of the weaponization of space. Please consider supporting this by going to the website of the Institute for Cooperation in Space (ICIS) where you can use their online fax system to help limit the arms race to the confines of Earth, where visionary leaders can have a chance to disarm all weapons of mass destruction before we blow ourselves to smithereens.

Item 2 reports on the recently passed Senate Energy Bill. This is more of the same with tweaks here and there to make people think these legislatures are doing something. Yet in reality they are continuing policies that are leading to global climate changes and pollution, and dangerous technologies for humankind.

Item 3 is a rebuttal on all this, which is from a press release from Stirling Advantage, Inc. They are proposing the use of new fuel sources that can be available for generating electricity by improving an early 19th century technology. Sooner or later people will wake up to the disastrous effects of accumulating carbon and other greenhouse gases being recklessly emitted into our atmosphere. Whether or not it will be too late for the fate of humankind is another question.

Item 4 is an update on Flyby News last issue's focus on the Mid East. Flyby News has endorsed the Saudi Arabian peace initiative that can work for Israel and Palestine, and help unite the world community behind diplomatic actions that can help stop the violence, destruction, oppression, and suffering.

1) Canada could prevent weaponization of space
2) Senate delivers 88-11 final vote on Democratic energy bill
3) New Fuel Source for Electricity Generation
4) Arafat and Jenin / What sort of deal did Bush strike?


1) Canada could prevent weaponization of space


No other country is in a better position to initiate international action

By James George, Dr. Carol Rosin, and Alfred Webre

ON JUNE 13, 2002, the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty will expire following its unilateral termination by the Bush administration, leaving an international legal void that will allow the weaponization of space. The termination of the ABM Treaty will permit research, development, testing, manufacturing, production and deployment of space-based weapons, and space-based components of the U.S. National Missile Defense System to go forward, instigating a dangerous, costly, and destabilizing arms race in space, impacting all of us.

Russian Minister of Defence Sergei Ivanov has already suggested that if the U.S. proceeds, Russia could deploy its own response to the U.S. space-based weapons system. The stated objectives of the United States Space Command in "Vision For 2020" are to seize the strategic high ground of space to "dominate and control." There is a rapidly growing worldwide movement to stop this potentially catastrophic arms race in space. This must be stopped before it begins — this year.

As seen from space, Canada lies between Russia and the United States, and, geography aside, no country is in a better position to initiate international action. Since 1982, Canada has led the growing United Nations lobby opposing weapons in space. Deputy Prime Minister John Manley stated on July 26, 2001: "Canada would be very happy to launch an initiative to see an international convention preventing the weaponization of space."

With the strong support of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the U.N. General Assembly last Nov. 29 voted 156-0 to prevent an arms race in space. Almost everyone wants it. On Sept. 28, 2001, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov had invited "the world community to start working out a comprehensive agreement on the non-deployment of weapons in outer space." At the U.N. Conference on Disarmament in June last year, China had taken a similar position. But neither Russia nor China will initiate binding action while the United States is unbound. If Canada does not act now, who will? If we do, we will generate far more support and respect than we gathered over our land mines initiative. We could turn the tide that will lift all ships and preserve space as a weapons-free commons.

In the United States, polls confirm that this result is what the great majority of Americans want. When there is almost unanimous international pressure, as well as very strong domestic support, the United States will change course. In the next few days, every head of government will be receiving, from the Institute for Cooperation in Space, a Space Preservation Treaty, which is the international companion to the legislation introduced as H.R. 3616, the Space Preservation Act of 2002, in the United States House of Representatives on Jan. 23, 2002. The act requires the U.S. to implement an international treaty that will ban all space-based weapons and the use of weapons to destroy or damage objects in space that are in orbit to preserve the cooperative, peaceful uses of space for the benefit of all humankind.

The Space Preservation Treaty is an effective and verifiable world agreement that also will implement a ban on space-based weapons. Implement a ban on the use of weapons to destroy or damage objects in space that are in orbit. Immediately order the permanent termination of research and development, testing, manufacturing, production and deployment of all space-based weapons. The treaty allows for space exploration, research, development, testing, manufacturing, production and deployment of civil, commercial and defence activities in space that are not related to space-based weapons. Under the terms of the treaty, each nation having signed the treaty shall immediately work toward supporting other non-signatory nations in signing, ratifying and implementing the treaty.

Once three nations sign it and deposit it at the United Nations, Annan is required to report publicly to the U.N. General Assembly every 90 days on the progress of implementing a permanent ban on space-based weapons and on the progress of signing and ratifying the treaty.

Once 20 nations have signed and ratified the Space Preservation Treaty, it will go into force; the outer space peacekeeping agency will be funded and empowered to monitor and enforce the ban on space-based weapons.

Canada's signing of the treaty will encourage Russia to maintain Russia's and China's longstanding commitment to keep space weapons-free and to sign the treaty as well. Together, Canada, Russia, China, and many other nations already on record as supporting such a treaty, can lead the nations of the world in signing the Space Preservation Treaty.

We can and must stop the weaponization of space before it occurs. The signing of the Space Preservation Treaty will put needed pressure on the U.S. Congress and administration to sign this verifiable and enforceable agreement. This permanent ban on all space-based weapons, worldwide, will transform the war industry into a space industry that will stimulate the creation of clean and safe technologies, products and services, including new jobs and training programs, that can and will be applied directly to solving urgent human and environmental problems.

What can an ordinary citizen do? Contact Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Deputy Prime Minister John Manley and Foreign Minister Bill Graham immediately. Tell them to lead the way, to be the first to say that they will sign the Space Preservation Treaty. This is the greatest challenge of our generation.


James George is a retired Canadian diplomat who served at the United Nations. He can be contacted at

Dr. Carol Rosin is president of The Institute for Cooperation in Space (ICIS), a non-profit educational foundation. (USA)

Alfred Lambremont Webre is an ICIS international director. (Canada).

The ICIS Web site--

Copyright 1996-2002. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. All rights reserved.

This article is posted at The Star:


2) Senate delivers 88-11 final vote on Democratic energy bill

"There's something in this bill to disappoint everybody."

The following is from Environment & Energy Daily (April 26, 2002)

A process triggered nearly a year ago when the Bush administration dropped an energy package heavy on production incentives climaxed in the Senate last night when the upper chamber voted 88-11 to approve a comprehensive energy bill, S. 517, after more than six weeks of debate. Republicans and Democrats alike immediately claimed victory, while environmentalists and many industry groups walked away feeling slighted by a bill many regard as watered down to a fault.

A hectic final day of floor maneuvering produced the conclusive margin, but not before the Senate took up a series of last-minute amendments. In a rush of activity, the Senate conducted eight roll-call votes Thursday, resulting in the acceptance of language softening climate change provisions, the dilution of air-conditioning efficiency standards and the defeat of an attempt to strip tax incentives for hybrid-electric vehicles.

The Senate also beat back an attempt to include offsets for $15 billion in energy tax credits and rejected Sen. Tom Carper's (D-Del.) modest fuel-economy transportation boost.

At the end of the day, Republicans and Democrats were quick to take the credit, though Democrats traditionally thought of as representing the more liberal element of the party were clearly unhappy with the bill on several counts. Among those voting "no" Thursday were Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Edward Kennedy (Mass.), all of whom cited either environmentalist opposition or dissatisfaction with S. 517's ethanol mandate.

"No bill is a lot better than a bad bill," Schumer said.

Environmental Defense's Legislative Director Elizabeth Thompson expressed similar thoughts. "This debate has been more painful than a root canal," she said.

Also voting "no" were Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Phil Gramm (R-Texas), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Bob Graham (D-Fla.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).

In the bill's defense, Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Senate Majority Whip Harry Reid (D-Nev.) described the dissatisfaction from green groups and industry as the bill's greatest strength. "There's something in this bill to disappoint everybody," Bingaman said.

The victors on the GOP side of the aisle, meantime, credited themselves for fixing a "broken" Democratic bill on the Senate floor. "Every step of the way, Republicans have successfully improved the Senate energy bill," Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) said. "Amendment after amendment was approved, leaving this legislation changed for the better."

Passage of the legislation now sets up an election-year House-Senate conference committee on energy that may deteriorate into a pitched battle given the vast differences between S. 517 and the House-passed bill, H.R. 4.

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See the following URL address for another review of the Senate Energy Bill from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy:

Senate Takes Small Steps Towards Energy Efficiency


3) New Fuel Source for Electricity Generation


New Fuel Source for Electricity Generation

Athol, MA. May 1, 2002. Stirling Advantage, Inc., today announced a new design for its Stirling power systems that will tap an unused source of energy for electric power production. The new design will facilitate electric generation from industrial waste heat streams, improving the efficiency of industrial processes while avoiding harmful emissions normally associated with power production.

"The Stirling cycle engine is unique in its ability to operate on virtually any source of heat," notes Stirling Advantage CEO, Ricardo Conde. "The use of waste heat for electricity production can deliver significant increases in industrial productivity."

It is estimated that U.S. industrial companies spend $11 billion annually for fuel to produce process heat for such things as glass and ceramic furnaces, foundries and melting and heat treating facilities. The Industrial Heating Equipment Association estimates that from 20% to 85% of the energy in that fuel is not used in the process. Such heat energy is often vented to the atmosphere for lack of a cost-effective means to use it. The new Stirling Advantage design will use this heat to generate electricity that can reduce a company's power bill or be sold to the local utility.

In addition to improving industrial fuel efficiency, the added electricity will require no new fuel to be burned and, thus, will create no incremental emissions. Applied globally this technology can play a significant role in cutting the growth of fossil fuel use and the associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Stirling Advantage, Inc., is the leading designer of commercial and industrial scale Stirling engines. Its highly efficient 200kW engines will be used to produce electricity from a variety of heat and fuel sources, and to produce chilled water for large air conditioning applications.


SOURCE: Stirling Advantage, Inc.
CONTACT: Dick Meloy, Vice President, Tel: (203)328-3045;


4) Arafat and Jenin / What sort of deal did Bush strike?

The following was received from "Bill Thomson" < >

Israel is refusing to cooperate with the UN investigators regarding the tragedy in Jenin. The Minneapolis Star Tribune indicates that a deal was struck by Bush with the Israelis to allow them to refuse the UN commission in exchange for Arafat's release. This is a situation that absolutely demands our response.

It is also not clear to me how President Arafat could possibly accept such an arrangement. I was in Jenin just over a week ago, and it is obvious that some terrible events happened there, including significantly more than the 50 deaths referred to in the editorial.

If you have never contacted the President before, now is the time to do it.

-- Bill

[Contact information is given after the following editorial.]

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The Minneapolis Star Tribune

April 30, 2002
Editorial: Arafat and Jenin / What sort of deal did Bush strike?

President Bush and his foreign-policy advisers moved with great creativity to disarm one of the most pressing issues in the Middle East: isolation of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in his Ramallah compound. We'd be applauding full force if it didn't appear that Bush made a bad deal to secure Arafat's release.

Under the agreement, British and American guards will secure six Palestinians, now in Arafat's compound, who are wanted by Israel. Arafat then will be free to move around the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This arrangement represents a significant concession by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Heretofore, a major goal of encircling Arafat's compound with tanks was to isolate him. That such isolation contradicted Israeli calls for Arafat to combat terrorism always was clear to anyone with any emotional distance from this conflict. With Arafat's new ability to move about, calls for him to smash the remaining "infrastructure of terror" will take on new force. Surely he can now see how severely his embrace of violence has backfired for the Palestinian people. Perhaps a visit to Jenin can bring that message home to him.

But it is on the issue of Jenin that this deal smells. Both American and Israeli officials said Monday that in return for freeing Arafat, the United States agreed to stand by Israel in its high-stakes confrontation with the U.N. Security Council and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The Security Council has authorized, and Annan seeks to dispatch, a U.N. fact-finding team to evaluate what happened in Jenin. The Israelis say their soldiers carefully safeguarded civilians. The Palestinians say the Israelis massacred hundreds. That would seem a situation tailor-made for independent fact-finding, and Annan assembled an impressive team: Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland; Cornelio Sommaruga, former president of the International Red Cross, and Sadako Ogata, former U.N. high commissioner for refugees, plus several military advisers.

For 10 days now, however, the Israeli government has prevented the fact-finding team from getting started. Coming on top of the strict control Israel exercised over Jenin during and for five days following the fighting, Israeli delaying tactics have a growing number of people asking whether it is trying to hide something.

That question is additionally informed by condemnations of Israeli actions in Jenin coming from Amnesty International and other human-rights organizations that have visited the camp. London's Independent newspaper also has done credible reporting from Jenin suggesting that while "massacre" may be too strong a word, many civilians were killed, including women, children and the elderly, in situations that cannot be justified as "collateral damage." Of the 50 dead Palestinians identified at the time the Independent was doing its reporting from Jenin, almost half were civilian. In five days of interviews, the Independent constructed horrific individual tales of nurses, disabled people and unarmed schoolboys shot dead by Israeli forces.

Neither Israel nor the United States has any legal authority to interfere with the fact-finding mission. By trying to cooperate with Israel, Annan has put his own credibility on the line. With or without Israel's cooperation, very soon the mission must begin, in service to the truth of what really happened in Jenin.

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Please contact your political representatives immediately and ask them to urge a cessation of hostilities on both sides. Also encourage them to urge the use of international observers, many of whom are currently in Ramallah and the surrounding area.

You can easily find how to contact for your own U.S. Senators and Congresspeople at

Here are four important people to address in the United States. Use phone and fax and email:

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvanian Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Phone: (202) 456-1111 -- Fax: (202) 456-2461 -- E-mail:

Vice President Dick Cheney
(The White House, as above)

Condoleezza Rice
National Security Advisor
(The White House, as above)

Secretary of State Colin Powell
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Phone: (202) 647-6575 -- Fax: (202) 261-8577 -- E-mail:



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