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The Nuclear Freeze Campaign Prevented an Apocalypse, so Can the Climate Movement


The Nuclear Freeze Campaign Prevented an Apocalypse, so Can the Climate Movement

Duncan Meisel

2014 was the hottest year in recorded history. 2015 is on track to be even hotter — and yet, before the most important international climate talks of the decade, even the most ambitious promises of action will fall short of what science demands.


We can take at least two simultaneous types of actions.

Affordable photovoltaic panels are an invented item. Once upon a time the price of PV power was 100 times the price of oil-fueled electricity. The United States government saw an opportunity to develop this invention, photovoltaics. They shepherded the invention until it became just about affordable. Then private industry (including China, acting in its own short-term national economic interest) flooded the market with research dollars and now that race is over, except PV panels keep getting cheaper every year.

I can name several fields where the exactly the same opportunity presents itself. If anything, most of the engineering goal lines are closer and the engineering is going to be far easier.

  1. Now we need nighttime thermal-based solar electricity generation.

  2. We need to heat buildings at night with stored solar heat.

  3. We need better natural daylighting for all sorts of buildings.

  4. We need better algae-based biofuel that can be grown in tanks in desert regions. Salt water-based algae might be a good idea, as fresh water is often short in these regions.

  5. We need a far better and less expensive transit system that is traffic jam proof and that doesn’t mow down thousands of bicyclists every year.

  6. There are sane geoengineering ideas such as white roofs, and raving loony geoengineering ideas also. We need sane ideas to stabilize the Arctic despite too much CO2.

  7. We need commercial-scale solar distillation of water to create drinking water.

If we do half or all of these engineering feats, extracting fossil fuels will never again be profitable anywhere on earth. “Proven reserves” of fossil fuels will just have to be left in the ground and will someday be forgotten.

If we can show a credible threat that we’re going to finish half of these engineering feats on time and on schedule, every bank and investor in the world will face the fact that if they finance any new fossil fuel infrastructure, they shall never, ever get their money back. Lights out, that’s the immediate worldwide end of fossil fuel investing. Sounds good?

Here’s where politics comes in. Your government, controlled by a Republican Congress with Democratic help, has no intention of cutting out the fossil fuel industry’s profits for at least the next 50 years. So, either we staple both parties to the wall with thousands of staples, and/or we occupy the critical research role ourselves. This work is critical, so why don’t citizens do both?

Put up a sign that says, “Never wait for the government.”

In the 1930s the March of Dimes raised the funds needed to research the end of polio. The Salk vaccine and later the Sabin vaccine wiped out polio in the United States, probably forever. Give me a good reason why ordinary people shouldn’t equally wipe out climate change today.

You could start planning this out on a piece of paper or onscreen right now. Make it work. Make it so.

Or, you can work on the other side of the coin and enact a worldwide carbon tax. That wouldn’t get the most basic research done and the political job sure isn’t fast, but it would move each goal line just a bit closer. So, you might work on that also. Just remember which path leads quickly to full success and which path leads tortuously to minor successes.

Now about those goals. I’m an inventor and I already have good plans for every one of these goals. If you meet another inventor (or 100!) with other good plans, please invite us all to have lunch together. We work better as a group then we do as loners.


Two points:

  1. Nuclear freeze only happened elsewhere and for a short time, depending on which country we’re discussing. The U.S. is certainly not one that has adhered to any freeze and continues to make new weapons all the time, with no inspections allowed as was required in Russia for example. Israel certainly has paid no attention at all to any type of freeze, nor has India or Pakistan to the best of my knowledge.
  2. Yes. The climate we know is at risk, with the most likely cause being human activity. While in Antarctica we see some of the ice shelves melting and creating much concern, it’s also true the interior has increasing ice and colder temperatures. The Arctic has been much more affected as we know, but to try and predict exactly what changes will result and when are next to impossible by any measure. No weather service can predict weather much past 24 hours with any accuracy, much less 50 years down our collective path.
    At some point however, hopefully very soon, common sense just might prevail and preventative measures may win the day, even for those who are not convinced our climate growing warmer is due to human activity, it’s still getting warmer nevertheless, also much more polluted and toxic, so for those who don’t believe it’s human related, it would still be wise to not add to any further warming or pollution. Besides, most all win by using renewable energy in one way or another. All but the current big energy corporations I suppose, but even they could make money by leading the transition away from fossil fuels. Something I’m sure they are aware of too.
    As one person pointed out however, the TPP and TTIP are the gravest threats to forward thinking people currently and should these backroom deal pass, it’s a whole new ballgame in so many ways, there isn’t enough space to list them all here. For more information about these threats, not only to climate change, food safety, etc,. please go to: www.flushthetpp.org to learn what you can do to stop these horrible deals. Thanks!


You can’t spell… It’s Hiroshima and your “facts” are total distortions straight from Right wing P.R. and its RADIO shock jocks.


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