1    Editorial

Regular readers will notice that the ‘badging’ of this newsletter has again changed; it is back in the fold of a Green Party Policy Working Group – that of the new Monetary Reform group, established at a meeting at the Party’s Autumn Conference and AGM., so its short-lived ‘independent’ status has ended; but not its ‘libertarian’ stance: this is an essential focus of the Party, despite the many proposals for legislation in its manifesto!

The report on page 162, from 16th August, is just a sample of the recent growth of instability of the money markets; it has since been followed by the Northern Rock fiasco, etc. It goes to confirm the point made by monetary reformers, that of its nature, the debt-money system is inherently unstable, and the rapidly escalating debts it has generated are fast approaching the crunch point where the interest on them becomes totally unpayable from available incomes/savings, and no further debts can be taken on.

It is a theme reflected in some of the other articles in this issue, and even conventional, ‘establishment’ commentators are realising this, and forecasting doom.

As I have often said, reform of the money system is key to all, or at least most, of the major problems in the world; on its own, it will not solve them; but without it, efforts to cure them will be frustrated, and tackling any one of them is likely to exacerbate another problem. With it in place, solutions can be ‘afforded’ – in money as well as physical terms – given the availability of the physical resources, the determination and the political will.

A major stumbling block to the achievement of this vital reform is the Establishment stranglehold on the public media, and on the education of ‘economists’. This makes alternative media, such as this newsletter and the internet, of vital importance.

Videos can also be a valuable means of conveying a message. Paul Grignon’s recent one, money as Debt*, is invaluable for this, and I recommend it to all as an education/ campaigning tool. Anne Belsey, founder of the new Monetary Reform Party, has negotiated with Paul the right to produce it in this country. This has significantly reduced its cost, and I can now supply it for only £5, most of which goes to funding her to get more copies made to distribute free to key individuals!

*See reviews in issues 14/6 (Dec. ‘06) and 15/3 (June ‘07) 


   Million Text Messages Block Chemical Plant

    The Associated Press  Thursday 31 May 2007

Chinese city officials shelve plan after residents revolt with phones.

Beijing - A Chinese city has halted construction of a chemical plant after residents sent more than 1 million mobile phone text messages protesting possible pollution dangers, news reports said Thursday.

The $1.4 billion facility being built by Tenglong Aromatic PX (Xiamen) Co. Ltd to produce the petrochemical paraxylene was planned for the booming southeastern port of Xiamen, the Xinhua News Agency and newspapers said.

"The Xiamen city government has decided to suspend construction of the PX (paraxylene) plant in Haicang District," a deputy mayor, Ding Guoyan, was quoted as saying by Xinhua. "The city government has listened to the opinions expressed and has decided, after careful deliberation, that the project must be re-evaluated."

Paraxylene is used in production of plastics, polyester and film. Short-term exposure to paraxylene can cause eye, nose or throat irritation in humans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic exposure can affect the central nervous system and may cause death.

The plant was due to be located 10 miles from the center of Xiamen, a center for Taiwanese and Hong Kong investment. The nearest homes were one mile away, according to news reports.

Demand for chemicals such as paraxylene is soaring as China's export-driven manufacturing industries expand.

The communist government, long indifferent to the environmental cost of China's economic boom, has become more sensitive to pollution complaints after accidents that polluted rivers, disrupting water supplies to major cities. Farmers in areas throughout the country have protested over pollution that has tainted water supplies and ruined farmland.

Xiamen residents sent more than 1 million text messages protesting plans to build the plant, Xinhua said.

The suspension of the Xiamen project coincides with government efforts to slow an investment boom in industries where supplies of factories and other assets exceed demand.

Last week, a state news agency quoted officials who cited public concerns about radiation exposure in announcing the suspension of work on a futuristic magnetic-levitation train line in Shanghai that critics said was too expensive and impractical.

Irving, Texas-based ExxonMobil Corp.; Saudi Aramco, the Saudi government oil company; and China's No. 2 oil company, China Petroleum & Chemical Co., better known as Sinopec, announced in March they were expanding a joint venture chemical plant in the southeastern city of Quanzhou to produce paraxylene and other chemicals.