Archive for the ‘No nukes’ Category

Ban the Bomb, Spread the Abolition

June 19, 2017

The draft text of the new treaty to ban nuclear weapons was released last week.

Alice Slater writes about the topic here, and David Swanson speaks about it on video to here.
The final treaty negotiations open in two weeks at the United Nations in New York City.

A major march to ban the bomb is planned for June 17 in New York here.
World Beyond War is helping to plan marches in Chicago and other cities.

You can search for a march near you or create one anywhere in the world here.

Then tell your country’s government to help lead this effort, or at least follow — or otherwise get out of the way!

Banning nukes is a first key step toward ending war. Please share this email far and wide.


World Beyond War Selfie Contest

World Beyond War is growing into a movement that can influence agendas. We have people signed on, committed to working to end war, in 153 countries.

Let’s show each other what we look like!

Let’s make a public and global statement.

Here’s how:

1. Take a photo of yourself holding up one of these signs (with the blank filled in — use a big, bold, dark marker).


2. Take a photo of yourself holding up one of these signs (with the blank filled in) in front of a military base, a weapons company, a recruitment office, a department of war, a U.S. embassy, another nation’s embassy, a parliament, a royal palace, a bank or financial institution that invests in war, a local office of an elected official, or another piece of the war machine.


Make up your own sign!


3. Post your photos on social media (such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) along with your location in the world and the tag #worldbeyondwar.

We will publish a collection of the best photos and offer prizes (banners, shirts, books, etc.) to the winners.

Find all the hashtagged photos on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram.

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Nuclear Experimentation Year 72: Collectivism over Common Sense

May 11, 2017

Life Arts 5/10/2017 at 12:40:14

By Ethan Indigo Smith Follow Me on Twitter Message Ethan Indigo Smith Permalink

Related Topic(s): Commonsense; Energy; Fascism; Manipulation; Nuclear Cover-up; Nuclear Pollution; Nuclear WMD; Nuclear Weapons; Nuclear- Waste; Nuclear_insanity; (more…) Add to My Group(s)
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Fascism: “Any program for setting up a centralized autocratic national regime with severely nationalistic policies, exercising regimentation of industry, commerce, and finance, rigid censorship and forcible suppression of opposition.” ~ New Collegiate Dictionary, 1956.

With so many disastrous failures defining its history, the nuclear industry is little more than an experiment, conducted for the benefit of national regimes at the expense of free information, technological innovation, our health and environment, and all life on Earth. Despite the calls of its proponents, such nuclear experimentation and industrial institutionalization is a formation of fascism to the letter, and worse. It is comparable to no other that has ever been, and perhaps, to none that ever will be. It is biological oligarchical collectivism to the extreme, which threatens to turn out world into a netherworld dystopia.

Power and Defense
Nuclear experimentation is presented by the military industrial complex as a modality of self-defense and low-cost power generation. In actuality, however, nuclear experimentation provides the opposite.

Firstly, it removes the ability for all beings and nations to defend themselves. Although governments claim that the notion of Mutually Assured Destruction protects nuclear nations, in the case of all out war, it is an illusion to think that nuclear facilities (both power and military) are not going to be targets of war. They are military targets just waiting to happen, just as fossil power plants have been clear and effective targets in previous wars. The difference is, if a nuclear plant goes up in smoke, most everything and everyone in a hundred miles goes up with it. No-one wins a nuclear war, regardless who strikes first.

Further, it is impossible to “defend” oneself with weaponry so toxic and destructive that it permanently disrupts the very ground we ourselves walk on, poisoning the water we drink and the air we breathe. The industry is unable to properly manage nuclear waste or the contamination created by its nuclear power and weapons development programs (which are inherently entwined), other than to bury solid waste material in the ground, put up a warning sign and leave it for our children’s children to deal with– and that’s when the industry operates to plan. The National Academy of Sciences concluded over a decade ago that most of the sites on which the US government has built nuclear bombs will never be cleaned up enough to allow public access to the land.

Moreover, an analysis regarding the financial cost of nuclear energy shows that nuclear energy, touted as a “cheap” energy solution, is actually more expensive for consumers than other energy sources. U.S. states that use nuclear power to generate electricity pay an average 25 percent more for electricity than states that do not, because nuclear plants are more costly to build, operate and maintain than other forms of power, and are heavily dependent on taxpayer handouts to survive. Nuclear power experimentation is not only an unsustainable risk, it is also an unsustainable business model. Contrast this with nations like Denmark, which generates 140% of its electricity needs from clean wind power, and we see how unnecessary nuclear energy experimentation truly is.

With so many other genuinely-sustainable energy technologies in existence, and more being developed, the continuation of the nuclear experiment is an oligarchical madman’s dream — and a nightmare to the rest of us who are stuck with degraded and altered elements in our biosphere and our bodies. (For more, please see the article, “Oligarchical Collectivism: The Institutional “ism” That Threatens Our Very Biology”.)

Ultimately, nuclear experimentation continues to be about military armament and annihilation, just as it was when these programs were founded. As former-US government nuclear scientist Dr. Andreas Toupadakis explains in the article, “Cancer, Coverups and Contamination: The Real Cost of Nuclear Energy”:

“In the United States, it is the Department of Energy finances and manages the nation’s nuclear weapons programs. In reality the Department of Energy is basically the Department of Weapons. The nuclear weapons programs need nuclear materials to make the bombs. Who provides them? The Department of Energy does. The building of nuclear power plants in the U.S. began in 1943 to produce atomic bombs — it was not until 1957 that plants began to produce electricity, providing a continuous supply of plutonium to the nuclear weapons programs.” ~ Andreas Toupadakis, Ph.D

Now, only 72 years into a million year nuclear waste cycle, we are no closer to solving the problem of mounting nuclear waste and no closer to the promise (propaganda) of “too cheap to meter” power. What we are, however, is arming the military industrial complex with nuclear weaponry at an unprecedented rate, and moving ever-closer to the ultimate in oligarchical madness: nuclear war.

Oligarchy vs. Individualism
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” ~ Albert Einstein

As is always the case, when oligarchies rule, imperialism is the goal. Monopolization is instituted, manipulation applied and powers unduly expanded — that is the defining nature of empire. The difference today is the deadly nuclear element. With nuclear experimentation so perilously dangerous to all life on earth, the energy sector so fraught with failures and coverups, the industry so geared toward weaponry, and the US government so determined to deploy them in its “humanitarian” war on the world, a little legitimate research inevitably brings us to one conclusion: it quickly spawns feelings of helplessness and inevitable doom, both literal and existential.

And yet, however common it may be, this conclusion is a premature one. When we understand that oligarchy and the systems that support it depend on our ongoing collective consent, those feelings of helplessness are surpassed by the realization that the only way to solve the problem of nuclear experimentation (and the broader problem of prioritizing imperial and commercial interests over humanitarian and spiritual ones) is for everyday folks to begin activating and formalizing the opposite of oligarchy — by uniting the brotherhood of humanity. In order to move beyond the fear, helplessness and idleness of the impending nuclear threat, we must unite to create Mutual Agreed Peace instead of Mutually Assured Destruction.

It begins with changing our war ways, which is complex, but possible. But more than that, it is now necessary — to our future and our survival. Until humanity unites as individuals instead of being divided as institutions, we will continue to fall victim to the oligarchical systems that are tailored to benefit those who already control them at the expense of all else — including our most basic common sense. And we will continue to be divided by the “us and them” mentality of war — the psychological glue holding this oligarchical war world together, which upholds a perception of threat and inhumanity in those we are consistently told are our enemies. (For more, please see the article “Your Government Needs You to Dehumanize Foreigners — It’s How They Justify Killing Them”.)

To create peace, we must acknowledge that there is only “us”, and there is no “them”. And I don’t just mean this in terms of the inherent brotherhood of humanity, I mean it in practical terms too. It is no secret that during The Cold War, the USA and the USSR worked together on various high level military engineering and space technology programs. This fact alone confirms that, at least in part war, The Cold War and the threat of Mutual Assured Destruction it heralded was created by mutual design, by “opposing sides” collaborating on technological programs — all seemingly part of a greater war on human consciousness which, to this day, serves to maintain the oligarchical power structure on two major sides of modern geopolitical conflict.

Despite the rhetoric of the oligarchies, the way to global peace is not paved with war. Such thinking is designed only to protect institutions and to rally and collectivize a society’s thinking. The war mentality encourages separation and dependence on institutions, peace encourages respect for our interconnection and common humanity. To create true peace, human rights, free thinking and the co-operation of individuals must become the order of the day for each of us. We need to open our hearts and minds to individuals — to each other — and close our minds to institutions.

We must question and confront the energy systems and social structures where the deck is clearly stacked against us. We must acknowledge that any political “leader” threatening and espousing war stands on the side of oligarchical institutions, not humanity, and therefore poses a threat to humanity regardless of which “side” they’re on. We must deconstruct the mechanisms of propaganda (such as mainstream news) that work to perpetuate the psychology of war within us on behalf of those institutions. We must give peace all our energy, both politically and personally, and, through the power of our will and the weight of our numbers, remove from government any individual who mandates war.

For further exploration of peaceful solutions to this problem, please see the insightful article “Unifying The Global Peace Movement — Challenges and Solutions”.

In closing
Initiating change is actually quite easy for individuals, it is the fear of change we find most difficult. But, in order to truly develop the collective consciousness of humanity, we have to unite and surpass our fears and the manipulations of our adversaries — those institutions of the military industrial complex that keep us thinking and feeling adversarial and disempowered, perpetuate the war mentality, and hinder our path toward genuinely sustainable development.

Below is a brief list of contrasting points of divergence, which illustrates some of the ways our society has been steered toward oligarchical thinking and structures, rather than toward options that would benefit all individuals. They also illustrate the potential ease of change, highlighting areas where one system or option can easily be substituted for another.

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The Complete Patriot’s Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism: Its Theory and Practice, is an insightful exploration of history, philosophy and contemporary politics of today’s heavily institutionalized society. An inspiration for positive, peaceful individual action, The Complete Patriot’s Guide is pro-individual in its perspective and, although political, discusses our society and its institutions from neither left-wing nor right-wing perspectives, exploring history, philosophy and contemporary politics relative to the fictional work of George Orwell.

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Ethan Indigo Smith is the son of a farmer and nurse who was later adopted by artists. Ethan was raised in Maine, Manhattan, and Mendocino, California. Ethan is a proud dropout. Ethan has traveled the world and has been employed briefly as (more…)

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Related Topic(s): Commonsense; Energy; Fascism; Manipulation; Nuclear Cover-up; Nuclear Pollution; Nuclear WMD; Nuclear Weapons; Nuclear- Waste; Nuclear_insanity; (more…)

Nuke Explosions

May 10, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews

BREAKING: Emergency at US nuclear site after collapse — TV: “Fears of radioactive contamination” — Expert: “Could lead to considerable radiological release” — Multiple states activating Emergency Operations Center — Pilots told to avoid flying over area (VIDEOS)
Posted: 09 May 2017 03:36 PM PDT

New fear of explosions in Fukushima — Nuclear waste threatens to “spontaneously combust” — Millions of tons of radioactive material could be released — Nuclear Expert: Japanese government is “terrified” (AUDIO)
Posted: 09 May 2017 09:17 AM PDT

Nearly 500K People Urge Congress to “Take Away Trump’s Nuclear Football”

May 4, 2017

Published on
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
byCommon Dreams
without declaration of war from Congress
byNadia Prupis, staff writer

“The current nuclear launch approval process, which gives the decision to potentially end civilization as we know it to a single individual, is flatly unconstitutional.” (Photo: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons/flickr/cc)
Close to 500,000 people have signed a petition, delivered to Congress on Wednesday, that urges lawmakers to take President Donald Trump’s finger off the nuclear button.

The petition supports the “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act,” legislation introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) that would prohibit Trump from launching a nuclear weapon without Congress first authorizing a declaration of war.

“No American president should be allowed to launch an unprovoked nuclear war,” Markey said at the press conference marking the petition delivery. “The Constitution gives the power to declare war to Congress, and we should not allow President Trump—or any president—to use nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack against the U.S. or our allies.”

More than a dozen advocacy groups helped circulate the petition, from the anti-nuclear Peace Action to the democracy watchdog Public Citizen.

“It’s terrifying that Trump currently has unchecked authority to press the button to launch thousands of nuclear weapons at his command in a matter of moments,” said Tessa Levine, campaign manager for the action group CREDO, which also endorsed the petition. “Trump’s first 100 days have been marked by series of horrifying demonstrations of his recklessness and incompetence, we cannot trust Trump to make rational or informed decisions about the safety of our country and the world.”

“It’s time to take away Trump’s nuclear football,” Levine said.

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Many highlighted the destructive power of modern weapons—especially when handed over to a president with a temper and a shaky grasp of geopolitics.

“Our Constitution created a government based on checks and balances and gave the power to declare war solely to Congress,” said Lieu. “A nuclear first strike, which can kill hundreds of millions of people and invite a retaliatory strike that can destroy America, is war. The current nuclear launch approval process, which gives the decision to potentially end civilization as we know it to a single individual, is flatly unconstitutional.”

“Furthermore, the single individual currently possessing the sole power to start WWIII is Donald J. Trump. The president has demonstrated a frightening ignorance of the nuclear triad, crowed about being ‘unpredictable’ with our nuclear arsenal, and taken to Twitter to make provocative statements about U.S. nuclear posture,” Lieu added. “The fate of humanity just may be at stake.”

Lillyanne Daigle, network campaigner for Global Zero, added, “One modern nuclear weapon is more destructive than all of the bombs detonated in World War II combined—yet there is no check on Trump’s ability to use the thousands of nuclear weapons at his command. His power to do so is absolute, and once he hits the proverbial red button there would be no take-backs.”

“That such devastating power is concentrated in one person is an affront to America’s founding principles,” Daigle said. “The proposed legislation is an important first step to reining in this autocratic system and making the world safer from nuclear catastrophe.”

Comment: The system to allow a man to destroy all life forms is irrational and irresponsible. No one person, much less unpopular and unsupported person, should control the nuke launch push button.

Future of Life Institute:Open Letter ( Over 3,000 Scientists Support UN Nuclear Ban Negotiations)

April 15, 2017

日本でどの程度報道されたか分からないのですが、Future of Life Instituteが核兵器禁止交渉に賛同する世界の科学者の連名公開書簡を3月27日(禁止条約交渉が始まった日)に発表しています。現在、3615名が連名しています。日本からはどのくらいでしょうか・・・

Over 3,000 Scientists Support UN Nuclear Ban Negotiations

Delegates from most UN member states are gathering in New York to negotiate a nuclear weapons ban, where they will also receive a letter of support that has been signed by thousands of scientists from around over 80 countries – including 28 Nobel Laureates and a former US Secretary of Defense. “Scientists bear a special responsibility for nuclear weapons, since it was scientists who invented them and discovered that their effects are even more horrific than first thought”, the letter explains.

The letter will be delivered at a ceremony at 1pm on Monday March 27 in the UN General Assembly Hall to Her Excellency Ms. Elayne Whyte Gómez from Costa Rica, who will preside over the negotiations.

Despite all the attention to nuclear terrorism and nuclear rogue states, one of the greatest threats from nuclear weapons has always been mishaps and accidents among the established nuclear nations. With political tensions and instability increasing, this threat is growing to alarming levels: “The probability of a nuclear calamity is higher today, I believe, that it was during the cold war,” according to former U.S. Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, who signed the letter.

“Nuclear weapons represent one of the biggest threats to our civilization. With the unpredictability of the current world situation, it is more important than ever to get negotiations about a ban on nuclear weapons on track, and to make these negotiations a truly global effort,” says neuroscience professor Edvard Moser from Norway, 2014 Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine.

Professor Wolfgang Ketterle from MIT, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Physics, agrees: “I see nuclear weapons as a real threat to the human race and we need an international consensus to reduce this threat.”

Currently, the US and Russia have about 14,000 nuclear weapons combined, many on hair-trigger alert and ready to be launched on minutes notice, even though a Pentagon report argued that a few hundred would suffice for rock-solid deterrence. Yet rather than trim their excess arsenals, the superpowers plan massive investments to replace their nuclear weapons by new destabilizing ones that are more lethal for a first strike attack.

“Unlike many of the world’s leaders I care deeply about the future of my grandchildren. Even the remote possibility of a nuclear war presents an unconscionable threat to their welfare. We must find a way to eliminate nuclear weapons,” says Sir Richard J. Roberts, 1993 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.

“Most governments are frustrated that a small group of countries with a small fraction of the world’s population insist on retaining the right to ruin life on Earth for everyone else with nuclear weapons, ignoring their disarmament promises in the non-proliferation treaty”, says physics professor Max Tegmark from MIT, who helped organize the letter. “In South Africa, the minority in control of the unethical Apartheid system didn’t give it up spontaneously on their own initiative, but because they were pressured into doing so by the majority. Similarly, the minority in control of unethical nuclear weapons won’t give them up spontaneously on their own initiative, but only if they’re pressured into doing so by the majority of the world’s nations and citizens.”

The idea behind the proposed ban is to provide such pressure by stigmatizing nuclear weapons.
Beatrice Fihn, who helped launch the ban movement as Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, explains that such stigmatization made the landmine and cluster munitions bans succeed and can succeed again: “The market for landmines is pretty much extinct—nobody wants to produce them anymore because countries have banned and stigmatized them. Just a few years ago, the United States—who never signed the landmines treaty—announced that it’s basically complying with the treaty. If the world comes together in support of a nuclear ban, then nuclear weapons countries will likely follow suit, even if it doesn’t happen right away.”

Susi Snyder from from the Dutch “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” project explains:
“If you prohibit the production, possession, and use of these weapons and the assistance with doing those things, we’re setting a stage to also prohibit the financing of the weapons. And that’s one way that I believe the ban treaty is going to have a direct and concrete impact on the ongoing upgrades of existing nuclear arsenals, which are largely being carried out by private contractors.”

“Nuclear arms are the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited by an international convention, even though they are the most destructive and indiscriminate weapons ever created”, the letter states, motivating a ban.

“The horror that happened at Hiroshima and Nagasaki should never be repeated. Nuclear weapons should be banned,” says Columbia University professor Martin Chalfie, 2008 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.

Norwegian neuroscience professor May-Britt Moser, a 2014 Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine, says, “In a world with increased aggression and decreasing diplomacy – the availability nuclear weapons is more dangerous than ever. Politicians are urged to ban nuclear weapons. The world today and future generations depend on that decision.”

Media inquiries:
Ariel Conn, Director of Media at Future of Life Institute,, (415) 640-1780
Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics at MIT, President of Future of Life Institute,,
Contact information for all the letter signatories is available on request from Ariel Conn.

The open letter, under embargo:

An Open Letter from Scientists in Support of the UN Nuclear Weapons Negotiations
Nuclear arms are the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited by an international convention, even though they are the most destructive and indiscriminate weapons ever created. We scientists bear a special responsibility for nuclear weapons, since it was scientists who invented them and discovered that their effects are even more horrific than first thought. Individual explosions can obliterate cities, radioactive fallout can contaminate regions, and a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse may cause mayhem by frying electrical grids and electronics across a continent. The most horrible hazard is a nuclear-induced winter, in which the fires and smoke from as few as a thousand detonations might darken the atmosphere enough to trigger a global mini ice age with year-round winter-like conditions. This could cause a complete collapse of the global food system and apocalyptic unrest, potentially killing most people on Earth – even if the nuclear war involved only a small fraction of the roughly 14,000 nuclear weapons that today’s nine nuclear powers control. As Ronald Reagan said: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

Unfortunately, such a war is more likely than one may hope, because it can start by mistake, miscalculation or terrorist provocation. There is a steady stream of accidents and false alarms that could trigger all-out war, and relying on never-ending luck is not a sustainable strategy. Many nuclear powers have larger nuclear arsenals than needed for deterrence, yet prioritize making them more lethal over reducing them and the risk that they get used.

But there is also cause for optimism. On March 27 2017, an unprecedented process begins at the United Nations: most of the world’s nations convene to negotiate a ban on nuclear arms, to stigmatize them like biological and chemical weapons, with the ultimate goal of a world free of these weapons of mass destruction. We support this, and urge our national governments to do the same, because nuclear weapons threaten not merely those who have them, but all people on Earth.

To date, this letter has been signed by 2211 scientists (this does not imply endorsement by their organizations):

William J. Perry, mathematician, US Secretary of Defense 1994-97, AAAS fellow
Peter Ware Higgs University of Edinburgh, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, 2013 Nobel Laureate in Physics
Leon N. Cooper, Brown University, Professor of Science, 1972 Physics Nobel Laureate
Sheldon Glashow, Boston University, Professor of Physics & Mathematics, 1979 Physics Nobel Laureate
Wolfgang Ketterle, MIT, Professor of Physics, 2001 Physics Nobel Laureate
Edvard I. Moser, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Professor of Neuroscience, 2014 Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine
May-Britt Moser, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Professor of Neuroscience, 2014 Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine
David Gross, Kavil Institute For Theoretical Physics, Chancellor’s Chair Professor of Theoretical Physics
Leland Hartwell Arizona State University, Professor, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine
Jerome I. Friedman MIT, Emeritus Professor of Physics, 1990 Nobel Laureate in Physics 1990
Paul Greengard The Rockefeller University, Professor of Neuroscience, 2000 Nobel Laureate Physiology/Medicine, Member, National Academy of Sciences
Roy J. Glauber Harvard University, Professor of Physics, Emeritus, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Physics
Richard J. Roberts New England Biolabs, Chief Scientific Officer, 1993 Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine
David Politzer Caltech, Professor of Physics, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physics
Frank Wilczek MIT, Professor of Physics, 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physics
Jack Steinberger CERN, Physicist, 1988 Nobel Laureate in Physics
J. Michael Bishop UCSF, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Immunology, 1989 Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine
Eric Kandel Columbia University, University Professor, 2000 Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine
Martin Chalfie Columbia University, University Professor, 2008 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry
George F. Smoot University of California at Berkeley, Professor of Physics, Director, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Physics
David J. Weinland, 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physics
Dudley Herschbach Harvard, 1986 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Emeritus Prof. of Chemistry, 1986 Chemistry Nobel Laureate
Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr Princeton University, James S McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Emeritus, 1993 Nobel Laureate in Physics
H. Robert Horvitz MIT, Professor of Biology, 2002 Nobel Prize in Medicine, 2002 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine
Serge Haroche Collège de France, Paris, Professor Emeritus, Nobel Prize in Physics 2012, 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physics
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji 1997 Physics Nobel Laureate, Professor of Physics
John C. Mather, Senior Astrophyisicst, 2006 Nobel Laureate in Physics
Stephen HawkingDirector of research at Dept. of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge, 2012 Fundamental Physics Prize Laureate for his work on quantum gravity
Edward Witten Institute for Advanced Study, Professor of Physics, 1990 Fields Medalist, U.S. National Medal of Science, Kyoto Prize, Breakthrough Prize, NAS member
Sir Michael Atiyah Edinburgh University & Trinity College Cambridge, Professor of Mathematics, 1966 Fields Medalist
Curtis T. McMullen Harvard University, Cabot Professor of Mathematics, 1998 Fields Medalist, NAS Member
Charles D. Fergusson, physicist, President of the Federation of American Scientists
David Wright, physicist, Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program Co-Director and Senior Scientist
Lisbeth Gronlund, physicist, Union of Concerned Scientists Co-Director & Senior Scientist
Max Tegmark, MIT, Professor of Physics, President of Future of Life Institute, APS Fellow
Lawrence M. Krauss Arizona State University, Foundation professor, Chair of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Board of Sponsors, APS & AAAS Fellow, winner national science board public service award & Julius Lilienfeld Prize
Lisa Randall Harvard University, Professor of Physics, Fellow of NAS, AAAS, APS
Freeman Dyson Institute for Advanced Studies, Professor Emeritus of Physics, Wolf Prize Laureate, NAS member
Leona Samson, MIT, Professor of Biology & Biologiocal Engineering, AAAS & NAM
Christof Koch, Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science, AAAS Fellow
Nancy Kanwisher, MIT, Professor of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, AAAS & NAS Fellow
Scott Kemp MIT, Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, and director of the MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy, Director of the MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy
Owen Brian Toon University of Colorado Boulder, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Rossby Medal American Meteorological Society, Revelle Medal American Geophysical Society, Leo Szilard American Physical Society, Fellow American Geophysical Union, Fellow American Meteorological Society,
Alan Robock Rutgers University, Distinguished Professor of Climate Science, Fellow of American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, and American Association for the Advancement of Science
Karen Hallberg Balseiro Institute and Bariloche Atomic Center, Argentina; Council member, Pugwash Conferences for Science and World Affairs., Professor of Physics, Guggenheim Fellow
Martin Rees Cambridge University, UK Astronomer Royal and House of Lords, Former President, Royal Society
Bo-Sture Skagerstam Department of Physics, Norwegian University of Science and technology, Trondheim, Norway, Professor of Physics, Elected Member of the Royal Norwegian Society of Science (DKNVS), Trondheim, Norway,
Jeffrey Dean Google, Inc., Google Senior Fellow, Member of U.S. National Academy of Engineering, Member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences, winner of ACM Prize in Computing
Bernhard Schölkopf Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Director, Member, German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina)

The full list of signatories is available here:

April 5, 2017

Un-Trump the Budget

David Swanson via via
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Our environmental and human needs are desperate and urgent. We need to transform our economy, our politics, our policies and our priorities to reflect that reality. That means reversing the flow of our tax dollars, away from war and militarism, and towards funding human and environmental needs, and demanding support for that reversal from all our political leaders at the local, state and national levels.

We and the movements we are part of face multiple crises. Military and climate wars are destroying lives and environments, threatening the planet and creating enormous flows of desperate refugees. Violent racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia and other hatreds are rising, encouraged by the most powerful voices in Washington DC.

President Trump plans to strip $54 billion from human and environmental spending so as to increase already massive spending on the military. The plan raises Pentagon spending to well over 60 cents of every discretionary dollar in the U.S. budget — even as Trump himself admits that enormous military spending has left the Middle East “far worse than it was 16, 17 years ago.” The wars have not made any of us safer.

Washington’s militarized foreign policy comes home as domestic law enforcement agencies acquire military equipment and training from the Pentagon and from military allies abroad. Impoverished communities of color see and face the power of this equipment regularly, in the on-going domestic wars on drugs and immigrants. This military-grade equipment is distributed and used by many of the same private companies that profit from mass incarceration and mass deportation.

Using just a fraction of the proposed military budget, the US could provide free, top-quality, culturally competent and equitable education from pre-school through college and ensure affordable comprehensive healthcare for all. We could provide wrap-around services for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence; replace mass incarceration with mass employment, assure clean energy and water for all residents and link our cities by new fast trains. We could double non-military U.S. foreign aid, wipe out hunger worldwide. The list of possibilities is long.

Instead, the Trump administration plans to take much of their $54 billion gift for the Pentagon from the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency (even threatening to shut down its already under-funded environmental justice office), the Department of Health and Human Services (slashing family planning and anti-violence-against-women programs), from the State Department (thus privileging war over diplomacy), and foreign aid (so that the wealthiest country in human history turns its back on the world’s most desperate).

Among those most desperate are the 24 million refugees who have been forced out of their homes and countries, more than at any time since World War II. Instead of cruel Muslim bans and cuts to the already meager number of refugees allowed into the U.S., we should be welcoming far more. Alleviating the refugee crisis also means working to end, rather than escalate, the wars that create refugees, and supporting human rights defenders in their home communities. That means more diplomacy and foreign aid, not more military spending.

With its hundreds of billions of un-audited dollars, the military remains the greatest consumer of petroleum in the United States, and one of the world’s worst polluters. The US needs new green, sustainable jobs across our economy targeted to people facing the highest rates of unemployment and low wages. Military spending results in an economic drain. Clean energy production creates 50% more jobs than the same investment in military spending.

The U.S. military also serves as a security force protecting the extraction and transport of fossil fuels domestically and from the Middle East and other parts of the world. U.S. military force thus enables the continued assault on the planet and some of its most impoverished inhabitants by ensuring the supply of cheap fossil fuels, all while subsidizing some of the largest corporations in the world.

A December 2014 Gallup poll showed people in 65 nations considered the United States far and away the largest threat to peace in the world. If the United States was known for providing clean drinking water, schools, medicine, and solar panels to others, instead of attacking and invading other countries, we would be far more secure and face far less global hostility.

We can do this. Reverse the flow. No walls, No War, No Warming!

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Nuclear Power Suffers Major Blow With Westinghouse Bankruptcy

March 30, 2017

Published on
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
byCommon Dreams

Chapter 11 filing marks a ‘defining moment in the decades-long downward spiral of the global nuclear power industry’
byNika Knight, staff writer
A Westinghouse nuclear plant under construction near Waynesboro, Georgia.
A Westinghouse nuclear plant under construction near Waynesboro, Georgia. (Photo: Reuters)
Major nuclear power company Westinghouse, a U.S. subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday in a massive blow to the industry.

The filing marked “a defining moment in the decades-long downward spiral of the global nuclear power industry,” wrote Greenpeace Japan in a statement.

“Toshiba/Westinghouse is responsible for building more nuclear reactors worldwide than any other entity,” the group observed. “With the financial meltdown of Westinghouse, Toshiba also recently announced its plans to withdraw from foreign construction projects—a move that has far-reaching implications outside Japan and the U.S., such as the construction of three reactors in the U.K. at Moorside.”

“We have all but completely pulled out of the nuclear business overseas,” Toshiba president Satoshi Tsunakawa said at a news conference, according to the New York Times.

The Times further reports:

The filing comes as the company’s corporate parent, Toshiba of Japan, scrambles to stanch huge losses stemming from Westinghouse’s troubled nuclear construction projects in the American South. Now, the future of those projects, which once seemed to be on the leading edge of a renaissance for nuclear energy, is in doubt.

“This is a fairly big and consequential deal,” said Richard Nephew, a senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. “You’ve had some power companies and big utilities run into financial trouble, but this kind of thing hasn’t happened.”

“Toshiba/Westinghouse find themselves a victim of their own hubris and a nuclear industry where financial prudence was never a strong point,” Greenpeace Germany added in a brief (pdf).

It’s underscoring the global meltdown of the nuclear power industry, argued Greenpeace Japan energy campaigner Ai Kashiwagi. “If we look at how nuclear stacks up against renewables, it’s clearly in freefall,” Kashiwagi said. “An estimated 147 gigawatts of renewable power was added in 2015, compared to just 11 gigawatts for nuclear power in the same year.”

“For too long the nuclear industry has locked away huge amounts of capital at the expense of developing increasingly affordable renewable energy and updating energy grids,” Kashiwagi added. “The future of energy in Japan and globally will be renewables and it’s time governments get on board.”

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Update: we start banning nuclear weapons in one week

March 20, 2017

The ICAN team via
9:36 AM (1 hour ago)

Our chance to change the world
View this email in your browser

Dear friends,

As an international community, we have prohibited biological and chemical weapons. We have prohibited landmines, blinding lasers, and cluster munitions.

And in one week, we will start prohibiting the most destructive weapon of them all: nuclear weapons.

This is a historic moment for civil society’s 70 year long fight against nuclear weapons and it is the result of tireless campaigning and activism all around the world. This treaty could be a unique tool that makes real progress towards a world free of nuclear weapons. But those with nuclear weapons will do everything they can to stop us.

What civil society has done in order to get to this point is proof of what we can do when we work together. But we still have a long way to go and the stakes for the world are high — the risk of a nuclear detonation is on the rise.

We need your help to ensure that this treaty will be a strong, effective legal tool, and that it has an impact on nuclear-armed states even if they do not participate in the negotiations. This campaign has succeeded so far because of committed people around the world. That’s why your contribution is so important.

With one week left to go, make a donation – or a monthly contribution – to ensure that we take this chance to get a strong and effective treaty that will be the beginning of the end for nuclear weapons.
Thank you,

The ICAN team

Amid Renewed Nuclear Worries, Dozens of Classified Bomb Test Videos Made Public

March 17, 2017

Published on
Thursday, March 16, 2017
byCommon Dreams

‘If we capture the history of this and show what the force of these weapons are and how much devastation they can wreak, then maybe people will be reluctant to use them’
byNadia Prupis, staff writer

A clip from Operation Hardtack. (Screenshot/LLNL)
Just months after President Donald Trump advocated for “greatly” strengthening and expanding the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal, dozens of video recordings of weapons tests, long hidden from public view, became available to watch after being declassified.

An estimated 10,000 films exist; 4,200 scanned; and roughly 750 declassified. Now, 64 have been uploaded to YouTube as part of a digitization effort led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) physicist Greg Spriggs, who is hoping to use the videos to analyze the weapons’ data and dissuade their future use.

“We need to be able to validate our codes and trust that the answers that are being calculated are correct,” he said. “The legacy that I’d like to leave behind is a set of benchmark data that can be used by future weapon physicists to make sure that our codes are correct so that the U.S. remains prepared.”

Some footage shows mushroom clouds blooming at high altitudes, while others show shock waves caused by an underground explosion. The clips are titled after the names of the missions, conducted between 1945 and 1962—names like Operation Castle, Operation Hardtack, Operation Plumbbob, and Operation Teapot, among others.

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“It’s just unbelievable how much energy’s released,” Spriggs said. “We hope that we would never have to use a nuclear weapon ever again. I think that if we capture the history of this and show what the force of these weapons are and how much devastation they can wreak, then maybe people will be reluctant to use them.”

The project is expected to take about two more years to complete. And it’s good that his team got to the films when they did, Spriggs added.

“You can smell vinegar when you open the cans, which is one of the byproducts of the decomposition process of these films,” he said. “We know that these films are on the brink of decomposing to the point where they’ll become useless. The data that we’re collecting now must be preserved in a digital form because no matter how well you treat the films, no matter how well you preserve or store them, they will decompose. They’re made out of organic material, and organic material decomposes. So this is it. We got to this project just in time to save the data.”

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Ex-PM Koizumi repeats call for no nuclear power plants

March 12, 2017

POLITICS MAR. 12, 2017 – 06:00AM JST ( 12 )
Ex-PM Koizumi repeats call for no nuclear power plants
Anti-nuclear protesters gather at a rally in front of the Diet building in Tokyo on Saturday.
Reuters photo
Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Saturday repeated his call for Japan’s complete departure from nuclear energy as the country marked the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“Nuclear power plants will become a negative legacy for future generations,” Koizumi said at an event organized by a civic group in Sapporo.

The group is seeking the decommissioning of nuclear reactors at Hokkaido Electric Power Co’s Tomari power station on Japan’s northernmost main island.

“Japan can become a much better country with zero nuclear power plants, harnessing natural energy,” Koizumi said, adding it will not be so difficult to replace nuclear energy with renewable energy if technological innovation advances.

After his speech, Koizumi criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s policy which promotes restarting nuclear plants most of which remain offline and exporting nuclear reactors.

“If the prime minister said ‘zero (nuclear power),’ the situation will greatly change. I don’t know why he can’t understand this,” Koizumi said.