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Calling Putin ‘Hitler’ to Smear Diplomacy as ‘Appeasement’

FAIR, JOSHUA CHO, 21 July 22 ‘‘………………………………. To say Ukraine is “filled” with Nazis is an obvious exaggeration, although even a relatively small number of Nazis has wielded disproportionate influence in the Ukrainian government (Kyiv Post3/26/19Euronews8/4/21). Nevertheless, FAIR (3/7/141/15/221/28/222/23/22) has covered the Western media’s denial of the far-right’s role in the Ukrainian 2014 coup, as well as their complicity in amplifying Ukrainian neo-Nazi publicity stunts during the war. 

But if it’s true that falsely associating a government with Nazism is a manipulation worthy of condemnation, how then should one judge Western media efforts to tie Russian President Vladimir Putin to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler?

FAIR (3/30/22) has previously noted how evidence-free caricatures in Western media of Putin as irrational (and perhaps psychotic) make diplomatic efforts to end the Ukraine crisis seem pointless. Tracing a connection between Putin and Hitler is an even more insidious attempt to make the idea of a negotiated end to the war seem like a moral outrage……………………………………………..

Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine is a violation of international law, condemned by 141 out of 193 countries in a UN General Assembly vote. But claims that Russia is committing genocide—a charge that carries automatic repercussions under international law—have to reckon with the comparison between the Ukraine invasion and the largest US military operation of the 21st century, the Iraq War. The UN’s count of civilian deaths in the first four months of Russia’s war was 4,677; the tally in the first four months of Iraq, according to Iraq Body Count, a project that monitored press accounts of civilian casualties, was 8,576

Both numbers are horrific, and each surely underestimates the true civilian toll of these wars. But if Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine, what was the US doing in Iraq?

“I know it’s hard…to swallow that the carnage and destruction could be much worse than it is,” a US Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told Newsweek (3/22/22). “But that’s what the facts show. This suggests to me, at least, that Putin is not intentionally attacking civilians.”

If one genuinely wants to compare Putin’s brutality to Hitler’s, one has to look at the actual civilian toll of World War II. In the European theater alone, tens of  millions of civilians were killed; some 14 million of these deaths were inflicted in the Soviet Union, which comprised both Russia and Ukraine. When you assert that the enemy of the day is as bad as Hitler, you’re also asserting that Hitler is no worse than the enemy of the day……………………………………

Diplomacy = ‘appeasement’

One inevitable feature of these Hitler comparisons is frequent reference to “appeasement” when reporting on the US’s dealings with foreign leaders. This presents any attempt at diplomatic negotiations with foreign leaders opposed by the US as a misguided or unprincipled effort to placate an irrational or evil dictator bent on expansionist conquest. ……………………………….

This is a false dichotomy. Although establishment Western pundits and officials like to claim that the Russian invasion was “unprovoked,” FAIR (1/28/223/4/22) has pointed out that this self-serving narrative omits a record of conscious provocations against Russia via NATO expansion towards Russian borders, in violation of promises made to Soviet reformer Mikhail Gorbachev. …………………

Accusations of “appeasing” Russia or Putin have been raised towards influential Western officials who have either engaged in diplomacy or advocated de-escalation through negotiations.  Zelenskyy has made contradictory remarks throughout the conflict, arguing that diplomacy is the only way to end the war, while also advocating for escalation through more NATO military support and setting up a “no-fly-zone.”…………………………………………..

The cost of ‘appeasement’ charges

The hyperbolic comparisons between Russia and Vladimir Putin to Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler, as well as constant accusations that anyone who attempts to negotiate with Russia for a peaceful end to the war is engaged in “appeasement,” have cost the world opportunities to de-escalate. The Biden administration has not encouraged the Ukrainian government to engage in serious negotiations with Russia (Jacobin5/30/22)………………..

The extreme caricatures of Putin as equal to or worse than Hitler are setting up Ukraine and the world for a grim fate. A BBC report (6/20/22) last month featured NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urging the West to “prepare to continue supporting Ukraine in a war lasting for years,” while the head of the British Army, Gen. Patrick Sanders, asserted that the “UK and allies needed to be capable of winning a ground war with Russia.” The frequent Nazi comparisons and Munich references made by Western media paint those who would prefer a negotiated settlement to years of bloodshed, the risk of World War III and nuclear war as “appeasers” of a Hitlerian dictator with genocidal ambitions.  https://fair.org/slider/calling-putin-hitler-to-smear-diplomacy-as-appeasement/

July 22, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, psychology and culture, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

‘The graveyard of the Earth’: inside City 40, Russia’s deadly nuclear secret

The city’s residents know the truth, however: that their water is contaminated, their mushrooms and berries are poisoned, and their children may be sick. Ozersk and the surrounding region is one of the most contaminated places on the planet, referred to by some as the “graveyard of the Earth”.

City 40’s inhabitants were told they were “the nuclear shield and saviours of the world

 From the late 1940s, people here started to get sick and die: the victims of long-term exposure to radiation.

‘The graveyard of the Earth’: inside City 40, Russia’s deadly nuclear secret,    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/jul/20/graveyard-earth-inside-city-40-ozersk-russia-deadly-secret-nuclear Samira Goetschel, Wed 20 Jul 2016   Ozersk, codenamed City 40, was the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme. Now it is one of the most contaminated places on the planet – so why do so many residents still view it as a fenced-in paradise?

Those in paradise were given a choice: happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no third alternative.” (From the dystopian novel We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin, 1924)

Deep in the vast forests of Russia’s Ural mountains lies the forbidden city of Ozersk. Behind guarded gates and barbed wire fences stands a beautiful enigma – a hypnotic place that seems to exist in a different dimension.

Codenamed City 40, Ozersk was the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme after the second world war. For decades, this city of 100,000 people did not appear on any maps, and its inhabitants’ identities were erased from the Soviet census.

Today, with its beautiful lakes, perfumed flowers and picturesque tree-lined streets, Ozersk resembles a suburban 1950s American town – like one of those too-perfect places depicted in The Twilight Zone.

Continue reading

November 20, 2021 Posted by | psychology and culture, Reference, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes | Leave a comment

Japanese Nuclear Drama ‘Gift of Fire’ Heads for U.S Theaters

Japanese Nuclear Drama ‘Gift of Fire’ Heads for U.S Theaters Variety, By Patrick Frater 13 Aug 21,

Gift of Fire,” a fact-based drama film about Japan’s secret nuclear bomb program, will play in U.S. cinemas from November this year. Produced in 8K digital, it opened in Japanese theaters last week, distributed by Aeon and scored a top ten ranking.

Yagira Yuya, the Japanese actor who won the acting prize in Cannes for his role in Koreeda Hirokazu’s “Nobody Knows,” heads the cast. He plays a nuclear scientist who struggles with his conscience while working Japan’s own nuclear weapon effort, a secret program that remained largely unknown until a decade ago.

The film is directed by Kurosaki Hiroshi, whose past work includes multi award-winning “Goldfish” (aka “Hi No Sakana”) and 2011’s “Second Virgin.” It was produced in partnership between Japanese public broadcaster NHK and Los Angeles-based Eleven Arts

Eleven Arts will now handle the U.S. release and has set a launch date of Nov. 12, 2021.

“When I first read the script for Gift of Fire I didn’t know that during WWII, Japan was developing an atomic bomb alongside the rest of the world,” said producer Mori Ko. “Instead of being a grand WWII film, the story focuses on the intimate details of three youthful characters’ lives. They deal with the same struggles as the rest of us, while also taking part in the life-changing scientific developments of the era and a war of epic proportions.”

………… “On one hand, the story reflects the romanticism present when floating on the surface of the ocean and looking up at the starry skies to imagine the vastness of the universe. On the other hand, the story explores the crimes that can be committed in the name of science and discovery,” said writer-director Kurosaki.  https://variety.com/2021/film/asia/gift-of-fire-japan-nuclear-drama-yagira-yuya-1235041233/

August 14, 2021 Posted by | Japan, media, psychology and culture | Leave a comment

Could Trump start a nuclear war?- a satchel, a biscuit and a football

A satchel, a biscuit and a football,     https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/3119714732   , Could Trump start a nuclear war?  By Linda Pentz Gunter, 10 Jan 21, 

All that’s involved is a satchel, a biscuit, and a football.

It sounds so benign, doesn’t it? Like schoolboy games. It’s anything but. If the President of the United States opens that satchel with his biscuit to access the football, that simple action could propel us into Armageddon.

The satchel, which goes everywhere the president does, contains the nuclear “football.” Only the president can open the satchel, using an ID card known as the “biscuit”.

As Time magazine explained it — the first time alarm bells rang around the possibility that an unhinged Donald Trump might “press the nuclear button” — the “biscuit enables him to identify himself to officials at the Pentagon with unique codes letting them know he is authorizing a nuclear strike. He would also need to specify the type of attack he wanted to carry out; the different options are delineated in the nuclear football.

“Once Trump has successfully conveyed his orders, Strategic Command, which has operational control over U.S. nuclear forces, would implement them.”

So while there is no actual nuclear button — Trump’s boasts to North Korea about his big one notwithstanding — it would be all too easy for a petulant madman to start a nuclear war. And we have one in the White House.

No one here needs to be reminded of the eye-stretching scenes of mob violence that unfolded at the Capitol on January 6, egged on by Trump on the day itself, and fueled by the reckless rhetoric and actions of the White House and its Republican lackeys over the past four years.

The events of January 6 in part prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to speak to the “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.

“The situation of this unhinged President could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy,” Politico reported Pelosi as saying on Friday.

In a statement issued on January 7, Physicians for Social Responsibility wrote that the scenes of mayhem at the Capitol, brought on by Trump’s “increasingly irresponsible and reckless behavior” should finally “put to rest any doubt about the danger posed by giving any president sole authority for the decision to launch a nuclear weapon. While the incident yesterday did not directly involve that power, President Trump’s alarming conduct demonstrated incontrovertibly why providing a president with the sole authority to launch a nuclear weapon needs to be changed—right now.”

How easy would it be for Trump to launch a nuclear strike? Global Zero explains it, chillingly, in this video, which suggests that starting a nuclear war would be “as easy as ordering a pizza.”

In a January 24, 2018 article in The Straits Times, Mark Fitzpatrick, a nuclear non-proliferation expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Washington, was quoted in an interview he gave to the BBC.

“There are no checks and balances on the president’s authority to launch a nuclear strike,” he said. “But between the time he authorizes one and the time it’s carried out there are other people involved.”

We’ve been saved more than once from nuclear disaster, most notably by Stanislav Petrov, a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Union’s Air Defense Forces who, on the night of September 26, 1983 just happened to be in charge of monitoring his country’s satellite system that watched for a potential launch of nuclear weapons by the United States. In the early hours, such a launch appeared to have happened.

Petrov had only minutes to decide if the launch was genuine. He was supposed to report the alert up the chain of command. Doing so would almost certainly have led to a counterstrike, triggering a full-on nuclear exchange between the Soviet Union and the U.S. Instead, Petrov decided to check if there was a computer malfunction, later discovered to have been the case. Petrov became known as “the man who saved the world.”

But back at the White House, with only conspiracy-theory believing acolytes left around a man who doesn’t in any case listen to anyone’s advice, we cannot count on there being any Petrovs to save us this time.

Of course, as the PSR statement concluded: “the best way to protect ourselves and the rest of the world from the danger posed by the dysfunctional leadership of a nuclear-armed nation is to eliminate nuclear weapons altogether.

“The incoming Biden administration should embrace the principles of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and lead negotiations that move us toward a nuclear-weapons free world.”

That Treaty will become international law on January 22. Not a moment too soon.

January 11, 2021 Posted by | politics, Trump - personality, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The cruel and lonely death of an American nuclear weapons scientist

  The lost tale of a nuclear scientist’s death in a secret San Francisco hospital room, Katie Dowd, SFGATE, Oct. 23, 2020 Before San Francisco became a metropolis, there was the Presidio. Since its creation as a military base in 1776, it has stood alone in a windswept corner, gathering legends.It has seen executions, tragic accidents and countless hospital patients.

And if you’re a believer that violent ends produce restless spirits, the Presidio is full up with phantoms as a result.
The most haunted place is said to be Letterman Army Hospital, once the base’s largest medical facility

In looking for Presidio ghost stories, though, we stumbled across a far stranger tale than any haunting: the real-life demise of a nuclear scientist — a chapter of the Cold War, as far as we can tell, untold since 1953.

Twitchell was a genius. Born in Minnesota in 1917, he got his undergraduate degree from Rollins College in Florida and a masters in chemistry at UC Berkeley. At 23, he was promoted to project engineer in charge of the equipment department of the University of California radiation lab.
This was no ordinary lab. Among Twitchell’s colleagues were Glenn Seaborg, Ernest O. Lawrence and J. Robert Oppenheimer — all of whom would later contribute to the Manhattan Project — and together the team was working on the discovery of atomic particles. Once World War II broke out, their mission shifted. The lab’s work was now crucial to the creation of nuclear weapons for the U.S. military……….
 In 1952 then just 35 years old. That year, doctors diagnosed him with a malignant brain tumor and told him he likely did not have long to live.
As Twitchell and his wife Marie processed the terrible news, the U.S. government sprung into action. Although he likely would have wanted his palliative care to take place at his home at 2319 Glen Ave., in Berkeley, he was told that wouldn’t be possible. He needed to be moved as soon as possible to a secure location.

The brain tumor presented a particular problem for the Atomic Energy Commission: It had the potential to cause erratic behavior and uncontrolled verbal outbursts. They were fearful that as he lost control of his mental faculties, Twitchell would begin spilling nuclear secrets. He knew “as much about atomic energy as any one man,” an anonymous source in the commission would later tell the Oakland Tribune.

So they built a secret ward just for Twitchell. At the cost of $100,000 — nearly $1 million today — construction began at the Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco’s Presidio for the unusual patient. Once finished, all doctors and nurses who might interact with Twitchell were given rigorous screenings for any national security issues. In the end, only one male nurse was trusted to primarily care for Twitchell. A guard stood watch outside the room at all times.

Unbeknownst to the other military patients at the hospital, a civilian lay dying in his own wing. “He was the hospital’s hush-hush case,” the San Francisco Examiner reported.

On March 23, 1953, five months after his diagnosis, Twitchell died. Two days later, news broke nationally. “A macabre tale of the atomic age was revealed yesterday,” the Examiner proclaimed. The Atomic Energy Commission was forced to admit Twitchell’s room wasn’t the only one they’d covertly constructed. Around the nation, there were similar isolation wards for individuals dealing in nuclear secrets.

An anonymous source told the Tribune this was standard protocol to keep scientists from blabbing while “unbalanced, anesthetized or under the influence of dentists’ ‘laughing gas.'” Although expensive, it was the only way to maintain national security.

But all this drama meant little to the Twitchells, who were left to bury their loved one…… https://www.sfgate.com/sfhistory/article/letterman-army-hospital-presidio-ghost-uc-berkeley-15668131.php

October 24, 2020 Posted by | health, psychology and culture, Religion and ethics, USA | 2 Comments

Trump’s psychopathology a threat to US democracy and to global stability.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | election USA 2020, Trump - personality | Leave a comment

Donald Trump’s extraordinary ignorance on which countries are nuclear powers

Bolton Says Trump Impeachment Inquiry Missed Other Troubling Actions, NYT, By Peter Baker, June 17, 2020

    • “…….Mr. Bolton’s volume is the first tell-all memoir by such a high-ranking official who participated in major foreign policy events and has a lifetime of conservative credentials. It is a withering portrait of a president ignorant of even basic facts about the world, susceptible to transparent flattery by authoritarian leaders manipulating him and prone to false statements, foul-mouthed eruptions and snap decisions that aides try to manage or reverse.

Mr. Trump did not seem to know, for example, that Britain is a nuclear power and asked if Finland is part of Russia, Mr. Bolton writes. He came closer to withdrawing the United States from NATO than previously known. Even top advisers who position themselves as unswervingly loyal mock him behind his back. During Mr. Trump’s 2018 meeting with North Korea’s leader, according to the book, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slipped Mr. Bolton a note disparaging the president, saying, “He is so full of shit”

A month later, Mr. Bolton writes, Mr. Pompeo dismissed the president’s North Korea diplomacy, declaring that there was “zero probability of success.”

Intelligence briefings with the president were a waste of time “since much of the time was spent listening to Trump, rather than Trump listening to the briefers.” Mr. Trump likes pitting staff members against one another, at one point telling Mr. Bolton that former Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson had once referred to Nikki R. Haley, then the ambassador to the United Nations, by a sexist obscenity — an assertion Mr. Bolton seemed to doubt but found telling that the president would make it.

Mr. Trump said so many things that were wrong or false that Mr. Bolton in the book regularly includes phrases like “(the opposite of the truth)” following some quote from the president. And Mr. Trump in this telling has no overarching philosophy of governance or foreign policy but rather a series of gut-driven instincts that sometimes mirrored Mr. Bolton’s but other times were, in his view, dangerous and reckless……..” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/17/us/politics/bolton-book-trump-impeached.html

June 18, 2020 Posted by | Trump - personality, USA | Leave a comment

If You Like Covid-19, You’ll Love Nuclear War

Might this unsteady and unseemly American president soon become subject to still more serious forms of personal dissemblance and/or psychological debility? Leaving aside Trump’s largely unprecedented and breathtaking venality,[5] his open indifference to history and above all his continuing malfeasance and shameless dishonesty, should he still be allowed to decide whether we Americans should live or die?
If You Like Covid-19, You’ll Love Nuclear War  Prof. Louis René Beres, Modern Diplomacy  May 11, 2020    Even now, after some many staggering and irreversible leadership mistakes on Corona virus – grievous errors that could eventually cost the lives of very many Americans – President Donald J. Trump continues to hold undiminished US nuclear weapons authority.
Though a great many American voices will respond angrily to any conjunction of these two discrete threats as manipulative or unfair, such responses would still ignore a core commonality. Incontestable and irremediable, this stubbornly shared connection on disease and war concerns Mr. Trump’s indifference to approaching complex problems analytically.

It also reveals his incapacity to feel even a scintilla of human empathy for other human beings.

What does all this really mean? In what specific policy directions should we Americans now be propelled? Continue reading

May 12, 2020 Posted by | politics, Trump - personality, USA | 1 Comment

Trump repeatedly reverses his decisions – but if he pressed the nuclear button, there’s no reversing

The Coronavirus Teaches Us Not to Let Trump Press the Nuclear Button  BY TOM Z. COLLINA, DEFENSE ONE, POLICY DIRECTOR, PLOUGHSHARES FUND  1 Apr 20, Some of the president’s poor decisions on COVID-19, like proposing to reopen the nation by Easter, have been reversed. But a presidential decision to start nuclear war cannot be.

President Trump has swung from calling the coronavirus pandemic “totally under control” to a “national emergency” and back. Trump’s latest idea that the nation could be “opened up and just raring to go by Easter” did not stand up to scrutiny. Amazingly, we are months into this crisis and the president is still struggling to get it right.

But what if the president needs to get a decision right the very first time, no do-overs? And what if the wrong decision could lead to a disaster even worse than COVID-19?

Chillingly, that is where we find ourselves on another underappreciated but even more catastrophic threat: —nuclear war. Instead of a relatively slow-moving pandemic, this crisis could have involved strategic warning of a massive Russian nuclear attack. The president would have not weeks but just minutes to decide if the attack was real and, if so, whether to launch U.S. nuclear weapons before the attack arrives. If he decides to launch, there is no going back. No mulligans.

What would the president do? Judging by the coronavirus experience, Trump would likely be uninformed about the specifics of the threat and so would fall back on his gut instincts, assume he knows best, and proceed with dangerous over-confidence. But unlike the current crisis, he would only have time to consult with a few advisors, under intense time pressure, and only if he chooses to. The president has the sole authority to order the launch of U.S. nuclear weapons with no oversight from Congress, the Secretary of Defense, or anyone else …….

It is a deeply troubling reality that if early warning systems show a massive nuclear attack on the way, the president might decide to launch an immediate retaliation and has the absolute authority to do so. This would be a catastrophically bad decision for a number of important reasons, none of which may be obvious to an uninformed president.

First and foremost, the president might not know that the attack is probably a false alarm. There have been multiple false alarms like this in the United States and Russia, and the rise of sophisticated cyberattacks make this danger even worse…..

We need to limit the president’s unchecked and unnecessary authority to launch. Trump’s reckless mistakes on COVID-19 are a call to action: we cannot allow the president to make a unilateral decision to start nuclear war.https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/04/coronavirus-teaches-us-not-let-trump-press-nuclear-button/164280/

April 2, 2020 Posted by | Trump - personality, USA | Leave a comment

Trump doesn’t ‘get it’ -climate change as the next great engine for the next pandemic

With the Coronavirus, It’s Again Trump vs. Mother Nature, The president’s failure to understand his limits is very costly. NYT, By Thomas L. Friedman, March 31, 2020

  • Today’s news quiz: What do these data points have in common?Jan. 22: President Trump is asked by CNBC: “Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?” Trump answers: “No. Not at all. And we’re, we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. … It’s — going to be just fine.”

    Jan. 31: Moving to counter the spreading coronavirus outbreak, Trump bars entry by most foreign nationals who had recently visited China…….

Nov. 26, 2018: CNN reports that Trump “dismissed a study produced by his own administration … and more than 300 leading climate scientists, warning of the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change.” Asked why, Trump told reporters, “I don’t believe it.” Asked if he read it, Trump said, “some.”

March 30, 2020: This newspaper reports that Trump completed plans to scrap Obama-era automobile fuel efficiency standards that limited climate-warming tailpipe pollution — a move that will “allow cars on

American roads to emit nearly a billion tons more carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the vehicles.”

What’s the common theme? We have a president who is enamored with markets but ignorant of Mother Nature, and we have paid a steep, steep price for that — and will pay an even bigger price when it comes to climate change, if Trump remains in charge……..

 there is one huge difference between the coronavirus and climate change: Climate change doesn’t “peak” — and then flatten out and then maybe dissipate or be permanently prevented by vaccine — so normal life resumes.

No, when the Greenland and Antarctic ice melts, it’s gone, and we humans will have to contend with the implications of sea level rise, mass movements of populations and various kinds of extreme weather — wetter wets, hotter hots and drier dries — forever.

There is no herd immunity to climate change. There are only endless impacts on the herd.

Thinking about climate change, even in the middle of this pandemic, is actually useful in a number of ways. For starters, they follow similar natural laws and have common mitigation strategies………

Finally, epidemiologists will tell you that climate change may well be the next great engine for the next pandemic — only this virus could easily be carried by mosquitoes, which, because of warmer temperatures in the global north, are able to migrate up from places they’ve never migrated from before.

For all these reasons, as we invest in infrastructure to stimulate our economy out of this corona crisis, we should be doing it to make our society more resilient against both pandemics and climate change. ……

Now that we have tasted Mother Nature’s wrath in the form of both Covid-19 and climate change, let’s get her on our side. She’s as happy to help as to destroy. Let’s use chemistry, biology and physics, not to mention sun and wind, to create the vaccines and power systems that immunize us from viruses and weather extremes — and not double down on bad habits that will only make us sick again. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/31/opinion/covid-trump-climate-change.html

April 2, 2020 Posted by | climate change, Trump - personality, USA | Leave a comment

As all their “selling points” fail, the nuclear lobby jumps on the climate change bandwagon

Nuclear Energy Institute Seizes on Climate Momentum to Push for Policy Boost

“The answer to the climate crisis won’t be as simple as replacing carbon with renewables and batteries,” according to NEI’s president and CEO. Greentech Media

Korsnick argued that nuclear’s cultural capital is on the rise, helped along by concerns about climate change and calls for 100 percent clean energy, but she suggested the industry needs better federal and state policy to grow.

…..   Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced $3.7 billion in additional loan support for the expansion of the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia. …..

Vogtle is a polarizing but important point of focus for the nuclear industry’s future. The Georgia expansion is the only large-scale nuclear project underway in the nation — another, V.C. Summer in South Carolina, was canceled in 2017 — and the first to be built in the U.S. in decades. It’s also billions of dollars over budget and significantly behind schedule, in part because key contractor Westinghouse announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy during construction.

…….  Korsnick said more states should follow Connecticut, New JerseyNew York and Illinois in allowing nuclear plants to compete as carbon-free sources or receive credits. Efforts to advance similar policies failed in Minnesota and are currently underway in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Though environmental groups have mixed views on nuclear, groups in both Ohio and Pennsylvania have spoken out against the support packages.

But Korsnick said a boost in conversations around climate action, the Green New Deal and state-level clean energy goals is bringing more positive attention to the technology.

“It’s this realization that 100 percent renewables — it’s not going to happen,” she said.

Not everyone agrees. On Monday, Puerto Rico committed to 100 percent renewables, joining Hawaii and Washington, D.C. Illinois is considering a similar measure. …. https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/nei-climate-momentum-boost-nuclear#gs.35vnl9

March 27, 2019 Posted by | climate change, psychology and culture, USA | Leave a comment

Future of Bradwell nuclear project in doubt – Chinese company might withdraw

BANNG 22nd Oct 2018 ,  BANNG has long maintained that there is no need for a new nuclear power
station at Bradwell. The costs, in terms of the long-lasting, physical
damage to the tranquil and vulnerable Blackwater estuary, of the finances,
of the potential for terrorist attacks and of the uncertainties around
investment by a potentially hostile state, are too high.
Nuclear power is an old-fashioned technology and given the continuing success and decreases
in the costs of renewables and storage, there will be no need for it by the
time Bradwell B could be in operation.
In its partnership with EDF, CGN, a Chinese state-owned nuclear company, is the majority two-thirds stakeholder
in the Bradwell B project. However, it seems now that CGN is wavering. In
the Financial Times of 18 September it was reported that CGN ‘has
admitted that political sensitivities could prompt it to give up the chance
to operate a new atomic power plant in the UK’.
The Chinese withdrawal, should it come, would appear to reflect widespread concerns about the
security issues surrounding Chinese investment into a highly sensitive part
of the UK’s national infrastructure. In the Financial Times, Zheng
Dongshan, Chief Executive of CGN’s UK subsidiary, is reported as
acknowledging that it would take time for CGN ‘to show the public, the
government they can trust us’. Andy Blowers, Chair of BANNG, said: ‘The
project may be doomed anyway as the Bradwell B site is totally unsuitable
and is opposed by communities all around the Blackwater estuary.’
https://www.banng.info/news/is-bradwell-b-going-down-the-drain/

October 25, 2018 Posted by | China, psychology and culture, UK | Leave a comment

Japan’s 2020 Olympic Games a public relations cover-up of the Fukushima fiasco, for the nuclear industry

Pay no attention to that radiological disaster behind the curtains https://globalhibakusha.com/page-2/?permalink=hiding-fukushima-behind-the-curtains-in-official-japan  by Bo, 

The government of Japan is clearly intending that the 2020 Olympics will function as a public relations win in which the image of Japan, and especially of Northern Japan and Fukushima are cleansed of images of radiological contamination. Even as the Fukushima Daiichi site itself, and the traces where the plumes of its explosions deposited fallout throughout the area remain un-remediated, the public perceptions will be remediated. This is typical of the behavior of governments in the developed world that suffer radiological disasters. The disasters themselves are so difficult to clean up, and take decades to even begin the clean up, that money is allocated for extensive public relations efforts. These become tasks that CAN be completed and CAN be considered successful. They function both to advance the public image agenda of the governments, and also deliver a sense of agency when the overall tone of nuclear disaster remediation is one of lacking effective agency.

Towards that end, the Japanese government is planning to integrate Fukushima sites and perceptions into the upcoming Olympics media fest. The journey of the Olympic torch through every prefecture of Japan will begin in Fukushima, a symbolic rebirth intended to facilitate the repopulating of the local communities that were evacuated, many of which have had few returnees since the government has declared them “safe” and cut public funds to those forcibly evacuated.

The government is also planning to hold multiple Olympic events in Fukushima prefecture including baseball and softball events. “Tokyo 2020 is a showcase for the recovery and reconstruction of Japan from the disaster of March 2011, so in many ways we would like to give encouragement to the people, especially in the affected area,”said Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori last March.

This active rebranding of Fukushima as safe involves removing physical reminders of ongoing risk. The central government has recently announced that it will be removing 80% of public radiation monitors from the region. An argument can be made that the presence of these monitors is theatrical in that they only measure external gamma radiation levels, which are not the primary risk to residents (this comes from internalizing radioactive particles that blanketed the region in the fallout of the plumes of the explosions of March 2011), and that positioning these gamma detectors in midair produces low readings since the particles are primarily on the ground. However, they are a tangible, embodied reminder that risk remains.

While there is a clearly an active campaign to rehabilitate the image of the region leading up to the 2020 Olympics, an effort that will no doubt intensify as the event draws near, there is also pushback and resistance in the local and national communities. A recent sculpture unveiled at the JR train station in prefectural capital Fukushima City (about 80km from the Daiichi nuclear site) has been stirring up controversy.  A Guardian article explained:

“The statue, by Kenji Yanobe, depicts a child dressed in a yellow Hazmat-style suit, with a helmet in one hand and an artistic representation of the sun in the other.
Yanobe said his Sun Child, which was installed by the municipal government after appearing at art exhibitions in Japan and overseas, was intended to express his desire for a nuclear-free world.
The artist said he did not mean to give the impression that local children needed to protect themselves from radiation more than seven years after the Fukushima Daiichi plant became the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
He pointed out that the child was not wearing the helmet and that a monitor on its chest showed radiation levels at ‘000’.”

While some, including the mayor of Fukushima City, have praised the statue for emphasizing a hopeful future for local children, others have criticized the statue for suggesting that there is any danger to local children.

Regardless of how one interprets the sculpture, it does confront people with the fact that things are far from normal in the region. This, in spite of the central government’s strong efforts to implore people not to pay any attention to what is happening behind the curtains it has been raising.

 

August 20, 2018 Posted by | Japan, psychology and culture, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Minnesota Senate passes legislation that would change approval process for Xcel nuclear costs

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May 16, 2018 Posted by | psychology and culture, USA | Leave a comment

Foreign policy run by macho males: it’s just so dangerous!

American Foreign Policy Has A Masculinity Problem, Huffington Post, Lauren Sandler, Columnist  15 Mar 18 

March 19, 2018 Posted by | politics, psychology and culture, Trump - personality, USA | Leave a comment