Last weekend, about 100 U.S. Veterans for Peace gathered in Red Wing, Minnesota, for a statewide annual meeting. In my experience, Veterans for Peace chapters hold “no-nonsense” events. Whether coming together for local, statewide, regional or national work, the Veterans project a strong sense of purpose. They want to dismantle war economies and work to end all wars.
Something got garbled in Kathy’s paragraph about George Monbiot’s opinion on nuclear power. Like Dr. Hansen, Mr. Monbiot is a supporter of nuclear power as part of the mix of non-carbon energy sources needed to address global warming. The occupational and public safety record of civilian nuclear power (and yes, I am counting the two major accidents that produced no fatalities) that have occurred and the environmental impact of nuclear power - is far better than the trail of human death and disease and wiped-out ecosystems that accompanies coal and oil and that accompanies may other industries, notably the chemical industry.
New-generation reactors are even safer, and future developments will even eliminate the (already very small quantities of) waste generated by current generation once-through rectors by closing the fuel cycle and providing abundant CO2 free power to the remote future - tens of thousands of years.
It is far past time to wrest the energy initiatives from the “economic” paradigm. The Moral paradigm needs to prevail. I don’t make the rules. Neither do you. Or you. They are out there however, available if only we will exhibit the bravery to grapple with the needs of our species in honest humility with the needs of others and, of course, the needs of the planet’s ability to carry us all to a great party until the sun explodes.
Wow what a great article! This one was really encouraging and motivating too. You get a clear headed pragmatism and drive from these vets. ‘We work together to save the ship… not wait for it to sink’.
Yeah it is coming down to the wire and people everywhere are realizing it. The rightwingnuts have had it their way for too long and devil take the hindmost (they deserve it ) for delaying us all but it sure looks like big changes are in the wind. People do have power but only when working together and it certainly does seem like that is what is happening everywhere.
People are this planet … and the reality is that the powerful can’t ignore us when ‘us’ includes practically everybody.
All hands on deck… but only if you mean it… because there are rough waters ahead and the heat is on … and getting hotter.
This was not a pretty please with sugar on top plea for a gradual reduction in fossil fuel use (while drilling for oil in the arctic?) … this was a lend a hand we’ve got work to do because we are going to do this whether they like it or not. Carbon tax - let’s start there!
You gotta love Kathy Kelly and Veterans For Peace. The insane war mongers have had their way for far too long!
Absolutely beautiful to read of VFP inviting James Hansen, focusing on Climate Chaos, and tying it all together with a call to abolish war.
We need one movement in solidarity: for peace, freedom, and social economic and ecological justice and accountability.
Whatever issue, campaign, or movement you are involved in, please look to tie in all these fundamental elements. Let’s unify our focus, remove power from those who abuse people and the Earth, and live our whole lives in service to justice for all.
Blessings to Kathy Kelly and Veterans for Peace!
To be sure Unique but I think the influence of limbaugh and others have slumped from their past glories. People are tired of their song and dance because they harp on the same tune over and over. People send their kids to school and they don’t shout down their kids calling them socialists and (gasp) liberals! Their kids ask for the truth and people aren’t stupid. They see the drought, hurricane Sandy and those triple mega typhoons in the Philippines. Parents see the truth about a melting North Pole and don’t intend to lie to their children about it.
So IMO limbaugh and savage have come up against one helluva debater in little Cindy and in Junior. Where are the frogs Daddy? You said that you used to catch newts and frogs when you were a kid but where are they? Is it true that bees and butterflies are disappearing Mommy? Why Mommy? Why are they disappearing?
Limbaugh is a big windbag and a fraud as his drug problems showed. Parents have all learned … their lessons…lol
The myth of carbon free nuclear power is just that. A myth. All of the pipe dreams created by the Nuclear Energy Industry, including new generation Thorium reactors and fusion are completely dependent on massive government subsidies. They would never survive or even be considered without the Price-Anderson Act limiting corporate liability for catastrophic accidents.
The Wall Street Journal declared Commercial Nuclear Power the greatest business failure in American history in 1986. Even the $50 billion Obama committed to the most recent “Nuclear Renaissance (aka Relapse)” won’t be enough to convince private investors to back this new generation of “safe” nukes. Nuclear Power is dead. Time to shut them all down before floods and earthquakes give us more Fukushimas.
Google atmospheric scientist Katherine Hayhoe. She’s already bridging the gab between climate science and the “faith community.” More will follow. The liars on Fox News are losing their hold on the right wing Republican masses. It’s just a matter of time and more catastrophic events and Rupert Murdoch and Fox will be history. People can only be fooled for so long. And it’s been long enough already.
It really does seem like the ‘industry’ aspect of the nuclear power industry is what is being preserved most of all. Rather than decentralize into a solar generated locally interlinked power network (solar rooftops on homes and buildings etc all linked together would generate huge amounts of electricity daily for example) the effort seems to go to protecting the nuclear industry itself. It is as if some in gov’t. were saying >>> “We can’t not have nuclear power! We have to have nuclear no matter what!”
I understand Hansen’s view but he isn’t talking about current nuclear but the next generation nuclear. Fusion is nuclear that we could believe in. Fukishima-Chernobyl-Three Mile Island is nuclear fission which we all fear and they are what we have now.
In any case the need for any nuclear is premised on a lack of solar generation. Large scale solar plants could replace nuclear plants if the rooftops of homes and buildings were linked together.
It seems like that industry (which would create a vast number of jobs) isn’t nearly as desirable to the fat cats in Washington as is continuing the current nuclear fission industry.
There are already visionaries who see beyond the existing energy paradigm. And they do understand–both how to work and how to implement–energy systems that elites do not want noticed. In fact, some of the inventors who have mastered these systems have been by turns silenced, under-funded, bribed, bought out, and treated to unfortunate accidents.
This video is intended for this forum’s naysayers (who also manage to show up on other “progressive” or would be “new thought” website forums) who insist there is no hope. We’re already screwed.
Combine the insights in the following video presentation with all that Vandana Shiva teaches and explains about restoring the soil to reconstitute the biosphere from the bottom up.
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Fools like yourself operate on the false pretense that river systems and water access will always be where it currently is… to cool these dangerous monsters. And this stance is propped up in spite of the growing fact that a great many climate-change anomalies are increasing. These create fluxes of floods and droughts.
You also pretend that the Cancer rates tangentially related to the use and abuse of nuclear energy (and nuclear bomb testing, its “cousin”) are of minor consequence.
You say you are an engineer. Maybe you are tied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. One of its jobs is to create a seamless transfer of spent bomb materials to nuclear power plants… insisting that all this killer technology is safe and always playing down the long-term (and in the case of Fukushima, ongoing) impacts of radiation upon human, animal, water, plant, and overall biosphere health.
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Interesting amalgams are forming, and by that I mean strange hybrids. One example is the “Cowboys and Indians Alliance” working jointly to protect lands out west from oil pipelines.
I find a lot of interesting data coming from David Icke. However, like so many Brits., he can’t seem to understand the premise of Earth as Gaia, as Mother; and that SHE is reacting vehemently to all that’s being done unto her mostly through the decimation of forest cover, the toxic polluting of her rivers, the destruction of so many of her species (going extinct, virtually overnight), and the chemical imbalance of her great oceans.
There are a lot of somewhat charismatic, somewhat intelligent angry white guys–Alex Jones, David Icke, and others–who are attracting large audiences and speaking out–wisely, in my view, about globalism and the New World Order. They recognize how the many ways that civil liberties are being decimated points to uber-state controls. But none of these guys understands Global Warming.
They’re also promoting a former NASA scientist who insists that the sun is going into a hibernation phase, and that this 220-year interval coincides with an uptick in volcano and earthquake activity. I wonder if this is proven junk science, and I pose that question since the Right Wing counter-narrative to Global Warming is this ilk’s insistence that a period of global cooling–or mini ice age–is coming along.
IF enough volcanoes spout enough ash into the atmosphere (as was the case after Krakatoa almost 200 years ago) that CAN create a wintry effect that can last a few years.
It’s a shame that the old “dominion clause” of the Bible has embedded itself so fiercely into Anglo-European males that they truly can’t understand the dynamics of a living MATERNAL planet. All homage goes to guns and “god.” Their god being a Saturn-father figure/pro war (Mars) hybrid. With this figure held as the deity, it’s not a surprise that nurturing this planet or honoring her–as the Shamans and Indigenous peoples do–as Earth Mother/Pacha Mama is absolutely LOST on the likes of these.
My point is that alternative narratives are out there… but too many also deface this miracle of a planet due in large part to a perception bias that is way too male in its orientation. THE BALANCE IS OFF!
There were many fatalities at Chernobyl but not immediate fatalities. There will be a death toll from Fukishima as well but not right away. To suggest that the two accidents were comparatively benign (no immediate fatalities) is false and deceitful.
To give someone poison that kills days later does not excuse you of murder because you didn’t shoot them dead that moment.
The problem with nuclear is that poison will last how long? That you didn’t compare with coal and oil. How long must human beings maintain a nuclear waste facility to prevent lethal radiation from contaminating the ground water or escaping into the atmosphere or polluting the oceans? Several hundreds of thousands of years seems just a tad much to ask since at present our best sequestering efforts (encasing radioactive material in lead glass and burying it under a mountain are already leaking… in less than a couple of decades.
That is part of the equation which cannot be dismissed. There are other and better means of electrical generation. Hansen worries that we will not have the will to make every roof top solar and create off shore wind farms as are needed etc. but we just may develop that will as the heat mounts up and the problems get bigger and bigger.
We may grow up yet.
But continuing with fission is disaster and not cheap by any means considering the subsidies. People are tired of being conned about the whole thing.
After Fukushima, the Japanese government tried to insist that nuclear power is safe. It surprised no one that they’d try such a thing. You’ll notice that no one believed them any more.