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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

America and Russia must cooperate to thwart nuclear terrorism

The growing threat of nuclear terrorism, America and Russia must cooperate to thwart rogue state attacks, WT – – Thursday, March 23, 2017 The greatest challenge to global security is the nuclear threat from rogue states, led by North Korea and Iran. There will be no progress in ensuring global nuclear stability without cooperation between the United States and Russia. This should be a major priority for Presidents Trump and Putin. Much has been made of states trying to secure their borders against terrorist threats. While it is essential that borders are secured, terrorism is tackled and hatred confronted, we cannot ignore the greatest contemporary threat of all, nuclear attacks. It feels remote and unlikely, but is a very clear and present danger.

It is essential for the international community to remain alert to the constantly growing threat of nuclear terrorism, in whatever form it may take, ranging from the detonation of a ‘dirty’ bomb by a terror group or the destruction a nuclear facility to a full-fledged nuclear attack………

The leaders of Russia, the United States, Britain, China and other important powers around the world, must make countering nuclear terrorism the highest priority, and can only do so by upholding international security with cooperation. This must extend to reviving all previously adopted initiatives and resolutions on nuclear terrorism without delay.

Only with state sanctioned collaboration between intelligence agencies and special operations services, especially Russian and American, will we be able to secure nuclear activity and actively neutralize the risk of nuclear terrorist attacks.

Presidents Trump and Putin have tough jobs, but without cooperation and decisive action on the nuclear threat global security is left in a desperately vulnerable state.

• Moshe Kantor is president of the International Luxembourg Forum For Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/mar/23/nuclear-terrorism-a-real-threat/

March 25, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Bank Policy excludes nuclear and tobacco investment – Bank of New Zealand

BNZ to exclude nuclear and tobacco producers https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/bnz-exclude-nuclear-and-tabacco-producersBank of New Zealand has developed a responsible investment policy which excludes companies involved in the production of cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, nuclear weapons and tobacco or tobacco products from its international equity holdings, it said.

“In the last 3.5 years our funds under management have grown from $1.5 billion to almost $4 billion today, so we’ve undertaken a comprehensive review of our investment business,” BNZ wealth and private bank head Donna Nicolof said in a statement. In the past BNZ invested in commingled funds alongside other institutional investors.

“One of our key investment beliefs is that risk and return are equally important and we have made the decision to exclude companies involved in the manufacture of tobacco on the basis that there is no safe level of use and engagement with these companies is futile. The regulatory and litigation risks faced by this industry are significant,” Ms Nicolof said.

The investment policy at BNZ, a subsidiary of National Australia Bank, spans all investments it makes on behalf of customers and includes the investments of the BNZ KiwiSaver Scheme.

The move follows investor uproar last year after media investigations found New Zealanders had unknowingly invested $152 million in arms manufacturers and big tobacco companies through their KiwiSaver funds.

Earlier today the opposition Green Party said the government needs to set a clear deadline for when all KiwiSaver providers should have divested from companies involved in the manufacture of cluster bombs, landmines, and nuclear weapons. According to a report by Radio New Zealand four default providers – Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, Kiwibank, Westpac Banking Corp and Mercer – still had passive investments in such companies through global index funds.

“It’s time for the government to get tough on investment companies that are dragging their feet on ethical investment,” said Green Party co-leader James Shaw.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Time for Malaysia to reject nuclear energy

Time to reject nuclear energy , The Star, DR R.S. MCCOY Petaling Jaya, 21 Mar 17  I REFER to the report “Expert: There is rising resistance to nuke option” (The Star, March 15) where Prof Ramesh Thakur warned of “rising public opposition towards nuclear energy due to its many risks.” He emphasised that the Malaysian Government “must weigh all the potential risks, including the possibility of a nuclear accident, smuggling and theft of nuclear components.”

It was noted that the final report of the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Mission Phase 1 would soon be tabled for discussion by Cabinet, and claimed that Malaysia is thoroughly prepared to make an informed decision about introducing nuclear power.

But there are many convincing reasons why nuclear energy is not a viable option for Malaysia. The global nuclear industry has continually failed to contain escalating costs and delays in the construction of nuclear power plants. There will always be the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear terrorism……….

Historically, a Russian nuclear power plant was the first to be connected to an electricity grid in Obinsk in 1954. Nuclear power plants soon mushroomed across the developed world, based on the deceptive slogan that nuclear-generated electricity was “too cheap to meter”. But global nuclear power capacity has stagnated ever since the catastrophic nuclear meltdown in Chernobyl in 1986 and the realisation that nuclear power is not cheap, clean or safe.

Today, only 24 countries operate 388 nuclear power plants, compared with 438 nuclear reactors in 2002, producing less than 2% of the world’s total electricity. Only 14 countries have plans to build new reactors.

Cheap nuclear power is a myth. Forbes magazine has called it “the biggest managerial disaster in history.” As recently as May 2009, two financial reports in the business section of the New York Times highlighted the incredible economics of building a nuclear power plant. The reports revealed two fiascos involving the construction of a new reactor in Olkiluoto in Finland by the French company, Areva, and the virtual collapse of the once touted global flagship, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. Both companies were overtaken by cost overruns amounting to billions of dollars caused by decades-long delays in completing construction schedules.

The nuclear industry’s history of financial disasters is lamentable. It includes the loss of more than US$1tril in subsidies, abandoned projects and other public misadventures. Amory Lovins, an energy expert, has called it “the greatest failure of any enterprise in the industrial history of the world.”………

On June 21, 2009, the then Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia said the Government would not consider the production of nuclear-generated electricity before exploring alternative renewable energy resources such as biomass, solar, wind and hydro power. So what is the Government’s justification for resorting to nuclear power when national electricity reserves are still substantial?

Malaysia would do well to emulate and learn from Denmark, where new technologies have made energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy feasible. Denmark derives most of its renewable energy from biomass and a fifth of its electricity from five thousand wind turbines. Denmark has no hydroelectric or nuclear power and has secured a high level of growth without an increase in greenhouse gas

emissions. It has achieved this through a strong political focus on energy policy and a unique cooperative relationship between researchers, business people and politicians.

Denmark’s ethos of social solidarity, transparency, accountability and common purpose shines an environmental beacon of light for Malaysia……

The issue of nuclear energy is too important to be decided by partisan politics and business interests. It must not be turned into a money-spinner for some politically-connected company or a career-builder for those connected to the nuclear industry. It is not good enough to “engage” with the public by holding politically predetermined seminars and conferences where pro-nuclear groups with vested interests tout the false benefits of nuclear energy to an unsuspecting public.

The energy path to a sustainable future lies elsewhere……..

we must not be deceived by the false propaganda of the nuclear industry. We must reject nuclear energy and avoid the grievous dangers of nuclear devastation and lethal radioactivity that will last for thousands of years. It would be immoral and unethical to leave future generations with such a legacy. t http://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2017/03/21/time-to-reject-nuclear-energy/#0kCFoFPO1x65SweB.99

 

March 24, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Doubtful futute for Perry Nuclear Power Plant: First Energy wants it to be classified as “clean”

As Perry Nuclear Power Plant continues its shutdown for refueling future remains up in the air , news.net 5 .com  Mar 22, 2017 “.….. Owner FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company though announced in February they’re looking to get out of the competitive generating business.

“That could be selling the plant, it could be finding some type of solution that would bring it into a more regulated like environment or it could mean closing,” said FirstEnergy Spokesperson Jennifer Young…….

FirstEnergy would like to see the state adopt a Zero Emissions Nuclear Program which the state legislature is expected to consider. It’s a measure that would recognize nuclear as a clean energy source much like credits provided for wind and solar…..

March 24, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear war in the 21st century

The truth about Satan: Nuclear war in the 21st century, new atlas  March 15th, 2017   Late last year, the world’s news services were abuzz with articles about Russia’s new super weapon, an ICBM called Satan 2 that is alleged to have the capability to fly at 17 times the speed of sound, penetrate US ICBM defenses, and destroy an area the size of Texas. But do these claims hold water, and just how big is the nuclear threat that the world really faces in the 21st century? What is the truth about Satan 2?

It was an exciting story and for about a week it made the rounds on everything from Twitter to major news outlets. But what was surprising about the coverage was that the Russian claims were accepted almost universally without a trace of skepticism or even context. This was despite the Satan-2, in many ways, is a fairly standard weapon and, in others, the claims didn’t even make sense. Never mind being able to destroy an area equal to Texas, saying that it can fly over the South Pole or dodge the US missile defenses should have set the skeptic alarms ringing.
The problem of nuclear weapons

Not to downplay the risks, but we need to ask what the real significance Satan-2 is, and why so many otherwise well-informed people were taken in by the Russian claims?

………….Conclusion

Using Satan-2 as the jumping off point for this lengthy look at the potential shape of nuclear war in the 21st century isn’t meant to downplay the significance of any such weapon, or to rack the press over the coals. The point is to highlight the fact that our shared knowledge of nuclear weapons and their capabilities has eroded since the end of the Cold War to the point where even fabulist claims like those made for the Satan are received with credulity.

Nuclear weapons are still the single greatest piece on the military chessboard of world diplomacy. If we become complacent about them and the role they play in our world, then we could find ourselves facing a very nasty surprise that shakes us out of that complacency. On the other hand, if we regard them as some all-destroying force that can only lead to the extermination of the human race, then it can lead to fatalism, paralysis, or desperate gambles and brinkmanship.

None of this is meant to minimize the danger of nuclear weapons. Far from it. These are the most destructive weapons ever devised by the mind of man and their use in war can only be justified as a deterrent. The warheads used today may be smaller, fewer, and not anywhere near as universally destructive as popular culture portrays them, but they are terrible things.

On September 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four jet passenger liners and slammed two of them into the Twin Towers in New York and one into the Pentagon, while the fourth crashed when the passengers tried to overpower the hijackers. This attack did not involve nuclear weapons, and “only” destroyed two skyscrapers and killed about 3,000 people, but it paralyzed the world’s only superpower, caused the loss of many billions of dollars, nearly crippled the airline industry, and has had massive impacts on the world to this day.

Now imagine a 10 kiloton bomb detonating in Manhattan. Even if the island didn’t end up looking like Hiroshima, the toll of death, property damage, and economic disruption doesn’t bear thinking about – but if we are to prevent such a disaster occurring in New York, or London, or Paris, or Moscow, or Tehran, or Jerusalem, we have to do just that. http://newatlas.com/nuclear-weapons-satan-missile/46845/

March 17, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Evidence for radiation release from Halden nuclear reactor in Norway into Sweden

Wind maps for 17th 18th and 20th Feb 2017 Oslo and missing data points from EURDEP in Sweden, Norway and one reading from Denmark showing the radiation was OK on the 20th .

Winds did come from the north at times and also from the southeast as well during these dates, early If a release was done in the early hours/morning of the 17th Feb 2017, the plume would have moved into Sweden and then later been sent west.

The data on the Denmark monitor was largely missing but did actually have the 20th Feb 2017 data showing normal radiation levels

I added some radiation monitoring data from the east coast of Norway and heading north (including one monitor in the mountains)  from there to show that a lesser plume made this distance but the data removed was for a shorter time frame. The wind maps show that the direction of the wind did also, at times, head east to account for this Plume.

I also checked the Finnish monitoring system but the data was generally intact but for a small brief rise on one east coast of Finland monitor  showing the plume was likely dissipated or broken up over the Baltic sea.

Data compiled by Shaun McGee

Historical wind chart data from Norway  [on original] ; https://www.yr.no/place/Norway/Oslo/Oslo/Oslo/almanakk.html?dato=2017-02-20

Radiation Mapping data from; http://eurdepweb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/EurdepMap/Default.aspx

Note; The Halden reactor monitor for October 2016 (the original release) was for only a few hours and the data is missing to show that. Over a few months some small rises and missing data points are evident but the largest period of missing data in February 2017 is the same as the Oslo data maps below, over a few days.

March 11, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Jane Goodall on intelligence of animals, and the mystery of humans’ dangerous use of their intelligence

Goodall: Why Earth’s most intellectual creature is destroying its only home, The Independent, By Harold Reutter harold.reutter@theindependent.com 10 Mar 1Jane Goodall, the world’s leading expert on chimpanzees, told a Grand Island audience Thursday night that she is constantly amazed at the intelligence of various species in the animal world, even the lowly bumblebee.

Through her 55-year study of chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, Goodall was the first to discover that chimpanzees could make and use tools. She described how she observed a chimpanzee place stalks of grass into termite holes. When the stalk was removed from the hole, it would be covered with termites, which the chimpanzee would then eat.

She also observed how chimpanzees would bend a twig and strip it of all leaves, effectively making that tool.

 Goodall’s observations demolished long-held accepted scientific theory: That humans were the only species on earth that could make and use tools. Goodall said many other animal species have the capacity to learn; even bumblebees can learn how to retrieve nectar simply by observing another bumblebee.

Goodall, though, acknowledged the explosive development of the human brain gives humankind a capacity to do things far beyond the capacity of even the most intelligent animal. She noted only humans have the intelligence to send a spaceship to Mars and then remotely control a motorized vehicle to explore the surface.

“So isn’t it peculiar that this most intellectual creature to ever walk the planet is destroying its only home?” she asked……..

Goodall said it is very hard to deny climate change when people can observe the earth’s ice caps melting, when they can see people forced to leave their island homes because of rising ocean levels and to see sea levels rise on coastal beaches. She said humans cannot colonize Mars: “you’ve seen the pictures, it’s really not an option.”

“You know, this planet is very beautiful,” Goodall said. “There’s still a lot that is beautiful, so why are we consistently as a species harming it so badly?

“It seems to me there is a disconnect between the clever, clever, clever brain and the human heart,” she said.

Goodall said it seems there are too many people who only think about how an action affects them, while not considering how it affects their children and grandchildren. She said “we (the older generation) have not borrowed the future from our children. We have stolen it.”

She said it is now time for the generations to work together for the planet’s benefit.

One of the reasons that she founded Roots and Shoots is to give young people hope for the future. The organization’s message is “every single one of us matters and has some role to play. Every single one of us makes some impact on this planet. Every single day we have a choice about what kind of impact we’re going to make.”

Goodall said Roots and Shoots sees a holistic connection between people, animals and the environment. It lets young people choose the kind of project they want to undertake to make the earth a better place. Roots and Shoots is now in 97 countries…….http://www.theindependent.com/news/local/goodall-why-earth-s-most-intellectual-creature-is-destroying-its/article_dcddcdc0-0550-11e7-9f6d-6bc30b44a48f.html

March 11, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Dangers of Nuclear Weapons “Modernization”

Trump Is Bankrupting Our Nation to Enrich the War Profiteers March 06, 2017 By Jonathan King and Richard KrushnicTruthout | News Analysis  

“……..Perhaps the most dangerous effect of Trump’s plan is the further modernization of the nuclear weapons triad. Great damage can be done with conventional weapons to people and their communities. But the increased investment in nuclear weapons increases the chances of inadvertent or intentional nuclear war. The resulting catastrophic damage to human society and to the planet will likely be irreversible. We share the concern with many defense experts, such as former Defense Secretary William Perry, that this modernization will increase the anxieties of Russia, China and other nations, and increase the chance of an accidental launch. The launching of the missiles from a single Trident class submarine would obliterate every major city in any adversary nation. If that nation were Russia, the retaliatory response, following in minutes to hours, would obliterate every city on the East Coast of the United States.

Rutgers Climate Scientist Alan Robock and his colleagues have shown that even a limited exchange — for example between India and Pakistan — would generate firestorms throwing enough soot and particles into the upper atmosphere to generate a nuclear winter, lowering the Earth’s temperature and creating worldwide famine for decades following………http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/39712-trump-is-bankrupting-our-nation-to-enrich-the-war-profiteers

March 8, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Lawmakers introduce pro nuclear legislation as GAO releases report on Nuclear Regulatory Commission fee collection methods

GAO releases report on Nuclear Regulatory Commission fee collection methods March 07, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Report The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its review last week of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) budget development process and fee collection methods.

The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce requested the report in June 2015 as part of their oversight of NRC.

“NRC’s fee rule and supporting documents did not clearly present the information that stakeholders need in order to understand fee calculations and provide substantive comments to the agency,” GAO said. “Until NRC clearly defines and consistently uses key terms, provides complete calculations and explanations for
the fees, and ensure the accuracy of its fee and work papers, industry stakeholders’ understanding of the NRC’s fee calculations may remain limited.”

In response to GAO’s report, committee members Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA), introduced the Nuclear Utilization of Keynote Energy (NUKE) Act. … Kinzinger said. “I’m excited to introduce this bipartisan legislation today as we take steps to make the regulatory process more efficient and transparent. Nuclear power is incredibly important for the district I represent, and for the country.”https://dailyenergyinsider.com/news/3606-gao-releases-report-nuclear-regulatory-commission-fee-collection-methods/

March 8, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Georgia Utility Shelves New Nuke Proposal

Georgia Power’s decision to pass on plans to construct a nuclear power plant near Columbus is the latest in a string of setbacks for the US nuclear industry.  The Local BY MATT SMITH 6 Mar 17 

The company behind one of only two nuclear power plants under construction in the United States says it’s passing on plans for another.

Georgia Power told state regulators last week that it was shelving plans for a possible new nuclear power plant in Stewart County, near Columbus. In a letter to the state Public Service Commission, the utility said it no longer saw any need for another reactor in the next few years….

The decision comes at a rough time for the U.S. nuclear industry, which has seen five reactors shut down in the past few years and is expecting six more to go offline in the coming decade. . ….

it’s already struggling to complete a two-reactor expansion of its existing Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant near Augusta. The project, which Georgia Power is sharing with three other utilities, is running three years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

Vogtle’s expansion was further clouded by February’s announcement of $6.3 billion in losses at the Japanese industrial conglomerate Toshiba, which owns the US nuclear company Westinghouse — which designed and is building the new reactors. The company also said it wouldn’t be building any more American reactors……

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy hailed the news, calling the plan “a bad deal for the citizens of Georgia.”

“The proposed Stewart County nuclear units were nothing more than financial insult to injury on the people of Georgia,” Stephen Smith, the green group’s executive director, said in a written statement. “We need more oversight on the runaway costs at Vogtle, not another blank check in Stewart County.”http://www.seeker.com/georgia-utility-shelves-new-nuke-proposal-2302767501.html

March 8, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Plans for Plymouth-based nuclear submarine found at a charity shop

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: March 05, 2017  Top-secret plans for a Plymouth-based nuclear submarine have been found by chance – in a suitcase donated to a charity shop.

The documents on the now-decommissioned HMS Trafalgar, which was based at Devonport, were uncovered by staff at a store in Wales.

Workers at the Barnado’s shop in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, said the suitcase was donated anonymously.

All else that was inside was books – and the now-declassified 6ft drawings will be auctioned off.http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/plans-for-plymouth-based-nuclear-submarine-found-at-a-charity-shop/story-30180851-detail/story.html#TOw6aFyrtqurKCWM.99

March 6, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Decentralised Energy – it’s the future for Britain

 No 2NuclearPower, nuClear news No.93, March 2017  2014 saw a spate of reports from Investment Banks and energy analysts which concluded that, amongst other things, conventional utility models are no longer fit for purpose. The reports highlighted the changes to the old centralised utility model which are on the horizon and the importance of new technologies. They suggested that decentralised energy supply will be increasingly important in the future. (See nuClear News No.68 – Decentralised Energy Marches On).

UBS, for instance, declared that it is “time to join the [solar] revolution”. Citi Research predicted “that solar, wind, and biomass continue to gain market share from coal and nuclear into the future”.

As far back as 2012 Moody’s said:

“What were once considered stable companies have seen their business models severely disrupted. Given that further increases in renewables are expected, these negative pressures will continue to erode the credit quality of thermal based utilities in the near to medium term .” (1)

At the beginning of 2016 the Chief Executive of Engie UK, Wilfrid Petrie, predicted “…the emergence of a new type of organisation within cities,” which don’t want to sell a huge amount of energy but focus instead on the demand side. “The future is going to be much more about decentralized energy,” he said. (2)

Now finally EDF may be catching up. Les Echos, the French business newspaper, carried an extraordinary article from Senior Vice President Marc Boillot who said “large nuclear or thermal power plants designed to function as baseload are challenged by the more flexible decentralized model”. He says that the centralised model of power production is dying, to be replaced by local solar and wind, supplemented by batteries and intelligent management of supply and demand. Not only will this be cheaper in the long run but customers are actually prepared to pay more for solar electricity and actively work to reduce usage at times of shortage. His conclusion is that “the traditional model must adapt to the new realities, thus allowing the utilities to emerge from …hypercentralized structures in a world that is becoming more and more decentralized”. (3) http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo93.pdf

March 4, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Oil and gas boss appointed to run UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Written by  Former North Sea oil boss David Peattie has been appointed the new chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

Mr Peattie will be responsible for leading the NDA in the decommissioning and clean-up of 17 legacy nuclear sites across the UK, including Dounreay in Caithness.- 02/03/2017 …….https://www.energyvoice.com/uncategorized/132979/oil-gas-boss-appointed-run-uks-nuclear-decommissioning-authority/

March 4, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Will people step out of comfort zone and stop the nuclear military madness?

Nuclear Midnight Is Closer Than Ever – So Where’s the Resistance?  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/03/01/nuclear-midnight-closer-ever-so-wheres-resistance by  Allison McGillivray  

I watched from the front gates of Vandenberg Air Force Base at 11:39 pm PDT on February 8, 2017 as a pencil-thin beam of lig   ht shot above the treeline and disappeared into the atmosphere. The United States had conducted the first test launch of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile under Trump’s administration. Loaded with depleted uranium, in lieu of a real nuclear warhead, it sped at Mach 23 (over 17,000 miles per hour) toward the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Site in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, a sovereign nation in Micronesia treaty-bound to receive United States nuclear testing. The missile disappeared into space, and the force of its propulsion grew to a roar that my fellow observers and I could feel in our bodies and under our feet. Windows rattled in neighboring towns. As I traveled the twenty miles back home, the missile met its target over 4,000 miles away.

I considered the devastating power of the triadic warheads crowning the Minuteman III, a load total twenty times that of Little Boy which decimated Hiroshima. I considered Rick Perry’s nomination to oversee the nuclear stockpile as Energy Secretary despite his earlier stated desire to dismantle the department. I considered the readily displayed ignorance of our Commander-In-Chief regarding the US nuclear arsenal, his bullying arrogance in international diplomacy, and the xenophobic company he keeps. My head spun.

During the past ten years, I have been on the periphery of the unceasing effort for nuclear disarmament. While helping to organize the archives of the Nuclear Resister, a paper that publishes news of nonviolent resistance to nuclear weapons, I’ve had the unique opportunity to study the anti-nuclear movement’s most vibrant decade, the 1980s, which saw the mass mobilization of thousands; hundreds of creative, direct actions confronting nuclear test sites and power plants, missile silos, military bases and headquarters of weapons manufacturers; and many demonstrators sentenced and jailed for their peaceful protest. Even with increasing awareness of the local and international dangers posed by nuclear technology, the end of the Cold War mollified activists and the frequency of demonstrations plummeted.

Currently, there is a small and dedicated group who maintain a tradition of witness against the threat of nuclear weapons. The majority of today’s anti-nuclear activists in the US are aging, white, and driven by faith. (This is not entirely so among the international effort.) Still, some create waves with back country actions onto nuclear facilities, exposing security risks and reminding the public these weapons indeed exist and must be disarmed. Yet the nuclear issue has little traction with Millennials who are rightfully busy taking action against economic and racial injustice, ecological destruction, and the socio-political aftermath of global capitalism and perpetual wars. The question lingers in the minds of these US anti-nuclear activists: will the work against nuclear weapons be among the lot adopted by our younger generations?

Possibly so, but the movement will not look like it did in the 1980s with crowds gathering specifically in support of nuclear abolition. Just as feminists of the Reagan era and Earth First! activists found their goals intertwined with nuclear disarmament, today’s popular movements and the anti-nuclear cause do intersect and there exists the opportunity for broader education and cooperation among justice groups. Uranium mines are endangering sacred indigenous sites, past nuclear tests poison thousands here and abroad, and the US’s $35 billion annual budget to “maintain, upgrade, and operate its nuclear arsenal” robs the American public of well-funded healthcare, education and infrastructure.

The continued concern of nuclear annihilation is neither outdated nor unfounded. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced in January we are closer to doomsday than ever before, basing their assessment on international relations, proliferation of nuclear weapons, and climate change. At this vulnerable time, as money and politics collude in the White House, there is need for continued vigilance for opportunists who would sacrifice the well-being of the American public for elite coffers. Rick Perry is one such opportunist. His relationship with Energy Transfer Partners demonstrates priority of personal investments over secure water sources, indigenous sovereignty, and environmental safety. He has ignored opinions of professionals in the construction and expansion of a Texas radioactive waste site, and there are concerns that his financial ties will be a potential conflict of interest for the Department of Energy nominee.

Sister Jackie Hudson, an anti-nuclear recidivist who died in 2011, would ask that others step out of their comfort zone, to face personal inconvenience for the benefit of justice. There is ample opportunity for us each to orient our values with our actions, and we should. In the end, we do not need to act to save a movement. We need to act to save each other.

March 3, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Just who are these 300 ‘scientists’ telling Trump to burn the climate?

As with all such lists, the 300 ‘scientists’ badly lack climate expertise, Guardian, , 27 Feb 17, If you read my articles regularly, you may have noticed multiple times I have stated that the scientific argument is over; there are no longer any reputablescientists that deny the overwhelming human influence in our climate. An open letter published last week by the anti-environmentalists proves my point.

If you read the headlines, it might have seemed impressive: “300 Scientists Tell Trump to Leave UN Climate Agreement.” Wow, 300 scientists. That’s a lot right? Actually, it’s a pitiful list.

First of all, hardly anyone on the list was a climate scientist; many were not even natural scientists. It is almost as though anyone with a college degree (and there are about 21 million enrolled in higher education programs just in the USA) was qualified to sign that letter.

Okay but what about the signers of the letter? Surely they are experts in the field? Not so much. It was very difficult to find the list of signers online however I was able to acquire it with some help. See for yourself – Google “300 scientists letter climate change” in the past week. You will see many stories in the press, but try finding the actual letter or the list of names. The version I obtained was dated February 23, 2017 which helps narrow your searching. In an era of Dr. Google, it is unbelievable that the letter itself was not made more available.

Okay but let’s get to the central issue. These 300 scientists must be pretty good at climate science, right? Well let’s just go through the list, alphabetically. Here is a sampling (text copied verbatim from the version of the letter I obtained).

Example 1:……..Example 2:…….Example 6:………

What is the takeaway message? As I’ve said many times, the science is settled. Human emissions of greenhouse gases are causing the Earth’s climate to change. It’s practically impossible to find a reputable climate scientist who disagrees, or a climate scientist who can support an alternative view. It is also very difficult to find a scientist who thinks that the warming isn’t a problem, or isn’t significantly caused by humans. But, this isn’t a lack of trying on their side.

When the folks denying human influence on climate can only generate the type of signatures attached to this letter, it shows that while they are good at getting press, they are not good at climate science.

Of course, press may be all they ever wanted in the first place. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/feb/27/just-who-are-these-300-scientists-telling-trump-to-burn-the-climate

March 1, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment