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Perilous Times now, as we remember the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

BY Joseph Gerson, Truthout – 

The consensus among US historians is that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — in addition to being moral abominations against civilians — were also opposed by senior military leaders, including General (later President) Eisenhower, who did not see them as politically necessary.

While making no excuses for Japanese militarism and imperial aggressions, we should remember that in the months prior to the US’s atomic bombings, the Japanese government attempted to surrender on terms the US ultimately accepted after the atomic bombings: unconditional surrender with the exception of the emperor remaining on his throne. According to my own research for my book, most senior US military leaders thought that the bombings were unnecessary and wrong.

Craven domestic political calculations, racism and bureaucratic momentum contributed to former President Harry Truman’s decision to usher in the nuclear age with the annihilation of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but as General Leslie Groves, who led the Manhattan Project, remarked in 1943, the atomic bomb project was no longer about Germany or Japan. It was about Russia. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were vaporized, incinerated, poisoned and traumatized to ensure that the US would not have to share influence with the Soviet Union in Northern China, Manchuria and Korea. Further, Truman thought that the atomic bomb gave him “a hammer” with which he could dominate the Kremlin with the threat of nuclear annihilation. 

Despite the Hibakusha‘s fundamental truth that human beings and nuclear weapons cannot coexist, the illusion that nuclear weapons have worked and can serve as the ultimate enforcer of empire, compounded by lies and mistaken beliefs about nuclear deterrence, have repeatedly brought us to the brink of nuclear omnicide and have driven nuclear weapons proliferation. In Helsinki, Finland, Russian President Vladimir Putin again illuminated the madness and injustice of nuclear apartheid. “As major nuclear powers,” he said, “we bear special responsibility for maintaining international security.” He and Trump believe that their nuclear arsenals give them the right to intimidate and dictate how the world’s nations and peoples live and possibly die. 



August 8, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Companies doing business with Iran will be barred from the United States – Donald Trump

Trump says firms doing business in Iran to be barred from U.S. as sanctions hit, Babak DehghanpishehPeter Graff,   BEIRUT/LONDON (Reuters) 7 Aug 18, – Companies doing business with Iran will be barred from the United States, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, as new U.S. sanctions took effect despite pleas from Washington’s allies.

Iran dismissed a last-minute offer from the Trump administration for talks, saying it could not negotiate while Washington had reneged on a 2015 deal to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

Trump decided this year to pull out of the agreement, ignoring pleas from the other world powers that had co-sponsored the deal, including Washington’s main European allies Britain, France and Germany, as well as Russia and China.

European countries, hoping to persuade Tehran to continue to respect the deal, have promised to try to lessen the blow of sanctions and to urge their firms not to pull out. But that has proven difficult: European companies have quit Iran, arguing that they cannot risk their U.S. business……..

August 8, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Young children will suffer the most from health risks of a changing climate

Children are highly vulnerable to health risks of a changing climate, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY’S MAILMAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH , August 6, 2018

Young children are far more vulnerable to climate-related disasters and the onus is on adults to provide the protection and care that children need, according to research by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University Irving Medical Center. In a paper published in PLoS Medicine, researchers set out some specific challenges associated with the impacts of climate change on the world’s 2.3 billion children and suggest ways to address their underprioritized needs.

“Because of their anatomic, cognitive, immunologic, and psychologic differences, children and adolescents are more vulnerable to climate change-related events like floods, droughts, and heatwaves than adults,” says Madeleine Thomson, PhD, a research scholar in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, faculty member at Columbia’s Earth Institute, a guest editor in PLOS One Medicine’s Special Issue on Climate Change and Health in the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

Because of their small surface-to-body ratio, infants and children are particularly vulnerable to dehydration and heat stress. During heat waves, children are more likely to be affected by respiratory disease, kidney disease, electrolyte imbalance, and fever. Heat waves have also been shown to exacerbate allergens and air pollution which impact children more severely than adults because of their underdeveloped respiratory and immune systems and because they breathe at a faster rate than adults.

The authors write that hotter temperatures may also expand the range of vector-borne diseases, including the Zika virus which, following the 2015 epidemic, has profoundly affected the lives of children and their families across Latin America and the Caribbean. Even children who were asymptomatic at birth may develop problems later in life.

After Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico in September 2017 medical responders encountered increases in gastroenteritis, asthma exacerbations and skin infections. Children were also at increased risk for mosquito-borne diseases such as Chikungunya and Dengue, as well as leptospirosis through the drinking of contaminated water. Flood waters from Hurricane Harvey a few weeks earlier dropped record breaking rain. Most of the Harvey-related toxic releases were never publicized and the long-term implications for children’s health is unknown. Studies suggest that climate change is increasing the intensity of North Atlantic hurricanes and the likelihood that the severe consequences for children’s health will grow.

In rural households droughts can have significant impacts on child development through increased food insecurity and dietary changes [17]. Droughts may also contribute to conflict and forced migration in resource poor settings, thereby increasing children’s vulnerability to a wide range of health issues.

To begin to address the specific needs of children confronted with climate-change related health disasters, Thomson and colleagues are proposing the following:

  1. Establish an international consortium of experts to develop adoptable medical and behavioral protocols and to set research agendas to address the unmet child specific needs that arise from climate-related natural disasters.
  2. Develop best practice guidelines for climate-change related event planning that incorporates strategies for addressing the health-related needs of children.
  3. Fund mechanisms designed to help the most vulnerable nations prepare for and respond to climate related disasters must consider funding the development of responses that specifically address the unmet needs of children’s health.

August 8, 2018 Posted by | children, climate change | Leave a comment

Europe’s heatwave -land and water – is crippling nuclear power

Europe’s heatwave is forcing nuclear power plants to shut down, Quartz, By Akshat Rathi, August 6, 2018 

August 8, 2018 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Future heatwaves will knock nuclear, gas and coal power plants offline

New Scientist. By Michael Le Page, 7 Aug 18

As large parts of the northern hemisphere swelter in record heat, yet another consequence of global warming is becoming apparent. Across Europe, several nuclear reactors and at least one coal-fired plant have had to be temporarily shut down, and others have reduced their output.

The world gets 80 per cent of its electricity from power plants that needs lots of cool water, which is a major problem in a warming and drier world. If nothing is done, there could be major …(subscribers only)


August 8, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Trump puts sanctions back on Iran

Trump reimposes Iran nuclear deal sanctions, The Hill, BY REBECCA KHEEL , 6 Aug 18

August 8, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK Consumers could pay for new nuclear power plants years before they are built.

Unearthed 6th Aug 2018 , Consumers could pay for new nuclear power plants years before they are
built. The government is considering using a controversial financing system
to build new nuclear power stations which would see customers charged for
construction costs long before a project has actually been built.

The approach, called the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model, has been described
as an “open cheque book” for developers, as consumers could be locked
into paying the costs of a project going wrong – like construction taking
longer than planned, or prices spiraling – indefinitely until it’s

Shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead MP said: “The problem
with this model as applied to new nuclear power stations is that it
transfers all the risk of construction from the developer to the customers,
with the rather wobbly promise of benefits to come in the future.

” Like other public-private finance models, the RAB model has a sticky history.
The government has already supported the use of RAB for the Thames Tideway
Tunnel, a £4.2bn project to revamp 15 miles of sewer lines in North
London, which Thames Water says a RAB model has helped lower costs. Much of
the work around taking a RAB approach to financing nuclear power has been
carried out by Dieter Helm, professor of Energy Policy at the University of
Oxford and a figure respected by government.

Writing in a blog about the
model’s application to nuclear last month, Helm highlighted a number of
open issues – such as which regulator would set the RAB for nuclear
projects, as well as the “very severe lobbying pressures” any regulator
would come under when making its RAB evaluations. Helm concludes that the
RAB may be an efficient approach to financing nuclear power, but still
doesn’t address fundamental issues about its cost competitiveness with
other technology like wind and solar, or what do with all its radioactive
waste. “It is for society to decide whether it wants new nuclear or
not,” he said. “The market cannot decide.”

August 8, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

On Hiroshima anniversary – fading commitment to nuclear weapons control

The Hiroshima anniversary: 5 things you should know about nuclear weapons today
Seventy-three years after the first use of the atomic bomb in wartime, commitment to arms control is fading. 

August 8, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Scotland could rid of nuclear weapons

Clear process to rid us of nuclear weapons  Herald Scotland, Isobel Lindsay, 7 Aug 18“……. The United Nations Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which was formalised in 2017 would offer an independent Scottish state a clear route with international supervision to have these weapons removed if Scotland applied to join the Treaty. The SNP and the Greens support the treaty and after independence so would many Labour members. There would be a strong political majority for this.

The first thing a member state has to do is to make nuclear weapons on its territory non-operational. This process will be supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency. This simply means requiring that all nuclear warheads are removed from the missiles. This can be done in months. Warheads are manufactured in Burghfield in the south of England and while there is not presently the storage capacity there for the 200 warheads we have at Coulport, creating another site in the vicinity solely for warhead storage would not be a lengthy process. Within three years the warheads could be transferred there. The missiles are manufactured and serviced in the United States so could be sent back there for storage. The submarines are serviced at Devonport but are not allowed for safety reasons to have warheads there. Storing or dismantling the submarines could provide work there and at Barrow although these places could not be used operationally. …..

August 8, 2018 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Asbestos and mesothelioma everywhere for everyone: EPA is allowing asbestos back.

Ken Rankin 8 Aug 18   As a toxicologist, who worked with asbestos lawyers, there was one question. How can these little-tiny, mineral fibers, embedded in soft tissue, almost always cause cancer?  Little or no physiological explanation for it. The consensus was, that the fibers, set off a lethal-unending inflammation cascade, where the mineral fiber is lodged.  An assault, on ones own body, by itself, from cytokines and tumor necrotic factor, that leads to the deadly, almost always fatal, mesothelioma.

People forget, that for 80 years, that the government and nuclear physicists, have been lying-their-asses-off about the true nature of radionuclides. They have been lying about radionuclide, lethality in the human body, even in microscopic doses. Even the more diluted emmitors, like the radium in asbenstos just sits there in the tissue constantly emitting alpha and beta rays. The smallest fibers of the shit, trapped in soft tissue, always causes cancer.

This is what a fiber of asbestos trapped in your lungs, stomach, colon or any other soft tissue is doing:    Alpha emittor in a cloud chamber:

Cloud chamber. Alpha particles

Asbestos has Radium

Environment International  Volume 1, Issue 4, 1978, Pages 161-165  Radioactivity in asbestos   Author links open overlay panelN.H.HarleyA.N.Rohl rights and content


226Ra has been measured in five asbestos group minerals. The activity levels are variable, are consistent with other forms of rock and range from 0.01–0.4 pCi 226Ra/g. Alpha particles from asbestos fibers immobilized in the lower lung near pleural surfaces and in the upper lung on bronchial surfaces may be implicated in initiating mesothelioma and bronchial carcinoma.


August 8, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | 5 Comments

Study into cancer risks in New Mexico

Trinity site cancer study expected to finish in 2019, Santa Fe New Mexican, By Russell Contreras | Associated Press, 6 Aug 18

      ALBUQUERQUE — A long-anticipated study into the cancer risks of New Mexico residents living near the site of the world’s first atomic bomb test likely will be published in 2019, the National Cancer Institute announced.

Institute spokesman Michael Levin told the Associated Press that researchers are examining data on diet and radiation exposure on residents who lived near the World War II-era Trinity test site, and scientists expect to finish the study by early next year.

The study will then be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and could be available by next spring, Levin said.

The announcement comes as descendants of families who lived in nearby communities are pressuring Congress to include them in the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. Descendants say the Trinity Test caused generations of families to suffer from rare cancer and economic hardship.
Currently, the law only covers areas in Nevada, Arizona and Utah that are downwind from a different test site.

Scientists working in Los Alamos developed the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project, which provided enriched uranium for the weapon. The secret program also involved facilities in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Hanford, Wash. The bomb was tested in a stretch of desert near towns with Hispanic and Native American populations.

Residents did not learn that the test had involved an atomic weapon until the U.S. dropped bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the war ended………

August 8, 2018 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

North Korea finding fault with USA’s diplomat Mike Pompeo

North Korea’s Pompeo Problem Exposes Widening Rift Over Talks, Bloomberg By Bill Faries, August 7, 2018, 

  • Top U.S. diplomat rebuked after two latest trips to Asia
  • U.S. told it will ‘get nothing’ from its pressure campaign

North Korea appears to have a Pompeo problem.

The widening gulf between Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s description of nuclear talks with North Korea and Pyongyang’s criticism of his efforts is adding further confusion to the status of negotiations intended to lead to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Twice in recent weeks North Korean officials and state media have rebutted the top U.S. diplomat’s characterization of events and suggested the administration has a myopic focus on denuclearization while ignoring issues such as bringing about a final resolution of the Korean War. Even as President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchange optimistic messages about their push for peace, Pompeo has increasingly become a target of public disparagement from Pyongyang.


August 8, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Over 120 organisations working to get rid of New York’s subsidies to nuclear power

More than 120 groups push NY to lift broad nuclear subsidies. by Associated Press & CNYCentral , August 7th 2018 ALBANY, N.Y. — Some 130 environmental groups are taking aim at New York’s nuclear subsidies.

August 8, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Eight more Tahiti nuclear compensation claims accepted  A French Polynesian anti-nuclear group has been advised that eight compensation claims lodged over the French atomic weapon tests have been accepted.

The Association 193 has told a news conference in Tahiti it has been encouraged by the response from the commission charged with assessing claims for poor health.

The Association’s Auguste Uebe-Carlson said six applications, however, have been rejected.

Father Uebe-Carlson is encouraging people to contact his association to lodge claims if they meet the criteria for compensation, such as location and type of illness.

According to the public broadcaster, since 1992 about 10,000 people have developed radiation-related conditions or illnesses which might be eligible for compensation.

Between 1966 and 1996, France carried out 193 nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific.

August 8, 2018 Posted by | health, legal, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Will Holtec buy Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant next?

Could Indian Point be next nuclear power plant up for sale? Lohud, Thomas C. Zambito, Rockland/Westchester Journal News  Aug. 6, 2018  The sale of nuke plants in Massachusetts and Michigan could foreshadow Indian Point’s future and unions once pushed for a role in its decommissioning.

August 8, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment