Archive for the ‘No nukes’ Category

The Pro-Nuclear War Party

August 14, 2016
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According to a Wall Street Journal report, the following people and entities would like the United States to begin a nuclear war: Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, the U.K., France, Japan, South Korea, and Germany. If any of those people or entities believe they can prove a case of libel, it might be a huge one. (Are you listening, Rupert?)According to Mr. Murdoch’s newspaper, the White House has been discussing the possibility of declaring that the United States no longer has a policy of engaging in the first use of nuclear bombs. The trouble is that those individuals and nations named above object. They insist, we are told, that the United States should have the policy of beginning a nuclear war.

Have the people of the UK, France, Japan, South Korea, Germany, or the United States itself been polled on this? Has any legislature pretending to represent any of those populations voted on this? Of course not. But what we could do, perhaps, is amend the policy to read: “When the United States begins the nuclear war, it shall announce that it is doing so in the name of democracy.” That should be good.

Has Mr. Kerry, Mr. Carter, or Mr. Moniz been evaluated by a psychiatrist? Was Mr. Kerry against this before he was for it? The important question, I believe, is whether they want to start the nuclear war with any hatred or bigotry in mind. If what they intend is a loving, tolerant, and multicultural nuclear war, then really what we ought to be worrying about is the unfathomable evil of Donald Trump who has said that he’d like to kill families — and particular types of families.

Now, I am not claiming to have fathomed the evil of Mr. Trump, but it has been U.S. policy since before there was a United States to kill families. And it is my strong suspicion that a nuclear war and the nuclear winter and nuclear famine it would bring to the earth would harm at least some families of every existing type.

The non-nuclear nations of this off-its-axis planet have been moving forward on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. That sort of strong and sane proposal could have something to do with the White House interest in advancing something as weak as a statement of no longer planning to be the first to start the apocalypse. But you can see the logic of the profiteers quite clearly. The same White House has laid out a plan to dump a trillion dollars in the coming years into building smaller, more “usable,” nukes. If the United States commits to not using them first, as other nuclear nations have already done, and if that commitment becomes universal, well, then nobody will ever use them, and at some point in the 23rd century it might occur to some bureaucrat that if nobody’s ever going to use them, it might not be the best use of unfathomable levels of spending to keep building them, and then where would we be?

But, not to worry, the Wall Street Journal and a pair of aspiring politicians have got you covered, because “a decision by Mr. Obama to press ahead with the declaration appears unlikely in his remaining months, given the controversy it would stir in the midst of a presidential election.” If you believe Mr. Obama is against controversy in the election, I’ve got an argument for the deterrent value of nuclear weapons to sell you. If Hillary Clinton were against first-use, so would Obama be. But she isn’t. Neither is His Huckstership, the Republican nominee.

Opening presidential election debates to include Jill Stein would create the controversy on this and other issues that Mr. Murdoch and his fellow media overlords would prefer to avoid. And Obama would find himself on the same side of that controversy as anyone else who has completely and utterly lost all sense of human decency.


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David Swanson is the author of “When the World Outlawed War,” “War Is A Lie” and “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union.” He blogs at and and works for the online (more…)

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Wake up: These Unneeded Instruments Can Wreck Mass Destruction

August 8, 2016

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has recently advanced a clean energy plan which mandates that New York transition half of its energy needs to renewables by 2030. By regressive contrast, New York’s Public Service Commission (PSC) has approved enormous subsidies for three aging nuclear power plants―Ginna, Nine Mile Point and FitzPatrick―located in Upstate New York.  Estimates of the costs of these subsidies range from $59 million to $658 million by 2023, with specialists such as Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group predicting that costs could grow to $8 billion. New York consumers will be covering the tab via their utility bills.

Ginna and Nine Mile Point are owned by the Exelon Corporation, and Exelon has plans to purchase the FitzPatrick plant. You can be sure that Exelon is frothing at the mouth for this huge bailout that was approved without adequate public scrutiny.  Approval of this plan gives New York State the not-so-honorable distinction of being one of the first states to bailout the aging nuclear industry in our increasingly green energy age. The long-coddled nuclear industry is hoping that other states will follow suit.

Unfortunately, subsidizing the nuclear industry in the United States is nothing new.  Since the first nuclear plants opened back in the 1950’s, taxpayers have assumed nearly all of the financial risk.  One of the most telling warning signs about the real cost of investing in nuclear power is that fact that Wall Street will not finance the construction of a nuclear plant without a full loan guarantee from the U.S. government. The reason for such caution by financial wheelers and dealers is the long history of delays, cost overruns and reactors that never came online. Whether the plants open or not, obeisant politicians pass many of the nuclear boondoggle costs to the taxpayers.

Atomic energy is also uninsurable in the private insurance market. Under the Price-Anderson Act of 1957, taxpayers must cover almost all of the costs if a catastrophic nuclear accident should occur.  Think of the devastation caused by Chernobyl, Fukushima and Three Mile Island.  Three Mile Island, which experienced only a partial meltdown in 1979, cost approximately $1 billion to clean up.

The case to preserve the New York nuclear power plants is that they are an “emissions-free power source.”  There are, however, much better, more affordable and safer low carbon options that would replace the need for nuclear energy in New York.  These options were not even discussed or evaluated.  A more sensible approach would have been for the PSC to present some alternative scenarios, so that citizen taxpayers could compare the risk and costs of a massive nuclear bailout against significant investments in other energy-generating options like wind and solar, in addition to energy conservation measures.

Consider the absurdity of the complex and expensive nuclear fuel cycle itself. It begins with uranium mining which produces radioactive tailings and dust, followed by the fabrication and refinement of fuel rods, the risky transport of these rods to the plant where they are installed, and then firing up the reactor so it goes critical with a huge amount of radioactivity. The end goal? To boil water to generate steam to turn turbines to produce electricity!

What other method of boiling water has to have specific population evacuation plans?

There is also the significant problem of spent fuel rods which are stored in pools at nuclear plants.  No permanent storage sites exist for these deadly radioactive wastes, which pose national security risks, and which must be kept for thousands of years.

Indian Point nuclear plant

Indian Point nuclear plant

It’s notable to point out that the Indian Point nuclear plants in New York, which are located near an earthquake fault just thirty miles from Manhattan, were excluded from the PSC proposal. Even cautious Governor Cuomo and Hillary Clinton, when she was a Senator, have acknowledged the imminent danger that Indian Point poses to the Greater New York City area and urged its closing.  The 5 PM rush hour in New York’s metropolitan area is bad enough without adding the chaos of a panicked mass evacuation of millions of people.So what about those who live within the fallout zone of these three upstate plants that will be the recipients of billions of dollars of taxpayer money?  Why is Governor Cuomo trying to close Indian Point while saving these other plants? One explanation could be right out of the classic nuclear industry handbook―hold the state hostage by threatening that the lights will go out if they don’t pony up.

The public was given just 14 days to comment on the bailout proposal. Despite pushback from anti-nuclear activists, the nuclear industry prevailed.  Is two weeks enough time for a thorough public debate on the merits of bailing out the costly, risky, dirty nuclear power industry? Shame on the indentured PSC and Governor Cuomo!

Rather than prop up deteriorating nuclear plants with a huge hand out, New York officials should be focused on phasing out nuclear energy entirely.  Nuclear power has been proven many times over to be unnecessary, uneconomic, uninsurable, unevacuable, unsafe and unfit for use in the unstable modern world.

New Yorkers―don‘t take this lying down. Write and call Governor Cuomo’s office and tell them that you oppose the PSC’s huge bailout to the nuclear industry. And, we hope that some citizen groups will challenge the decision in state court.

Have you seen the print, TV and radio ads touting atomic energy by the Nuclear Energy Institute? Its top executives and the CEOs of the nuclear energy corporations have not been willing to debate publically the assertions in these ads about cost, subsidies, evacuation, risk, alternatives and climate change. I’m confident that Peter Bradford, former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and former chairman of the New York PSC would agree to a debate in a neutral forum such as the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. So too would Amory Lovins, physicist, author and energy consultant to agencies from electric utility companies to the Pentagon.

Can you, readers, demand that the Nuclear Energy Institute open themselves up to informed debate? After all, they represent big corporate welfare kings that have taken taxpayers for a ride of hundreds of billions of dollars for the last sixty years. They owe you!

Ralph Nader is a leading consumer advocate, the author of Unstoppable The Emerging Left Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State(2014), among many other books, and a four-time candidate for US President. Read other articles by Ralph, or visit Ralph’s website.

Nuclear Power Is Losing Money At An Astonishing Rate

August 8, 2016


Half of existing nuclear power plants are no longer profitable. The New York Times and others have tried to blame renewable energy for this, but the admittedly astounding price drops of renewables aren’t the primary cause of the industry’s woes — cheap fracked gas is.

The point of blaming renewables, which currently receive significant government subsidies, is apparently to argue that existing nukes deserve some sort of additional subsidy to keep running — beyond the staggering $100+ billion in subsidies the nuclear industry has received over the decades. But a major reason solar and wind energy receive federal subsidies — which are being phased out over the next few years — is because they are emerging technologies whose prices are still rapidly coming down the learning curve, whereas nuclear is an incumbent technology with a negative learning curve.

The renewable red herring aside, existing nukes can make a reasonable case for a modest subsidy on the basis of climate change — though only because they are often replaced by carbon-spewing gas plants. That said, the “$7.6 billion bailout” New York state just decided to give its nuclear plants appears to be way too large, as we’ll see.

What’s Causing Nuclear Power’s Economic Death Spiral?

A July Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis concluded that nukes producing 56 percent of U.S. nuclear power “would be unprofitable over the next three years.”

As you can imagine, if existing nuclear power plants have become unprofitable, then new nuclear power plants make no economic sense whatsoever. Perhaps no surprise, then, that a Reuters headline blared last month, “New Nuclear Reactor Builds Fall To Zero In First Half Of 2016 — Report.”

The utility consultancy Brattle Group came to a similar view on existing nukes in a 2014 analysis, concluding that 51 percent of the merchant (deregulated) nuclear fleet, some 23 Gigawatts, could be unprofitable by 2015. In researching this post, I spoke at length with economist Peter Fox-Penner, one of the country’s leading experts on both the electric grid and decarbonization, the author of Smart Power: Climate Change, the Smart Grid, and the Future of Electric Utilities. Fox-Penner is the former chair of the Brattle Group.

I asked Fox-Penner, who is currently director of Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, to comment on Eduardo Porter’s argument in the business section of the Times, “How Renewable Energy Is Blowing Climate Change Efforts Off Course,” which I debunked last week. He replied:

Porter frames his article as blaming wind and solar for causing low prices that have unintended harmful consequences. While I agree that premature closure of safely operating existing nuclear is a terrible idea from the climate policy standpoint, he overlooks the fact that this consequence is neither “unintended” nor the “fault” of solar and wind. This is the very-much-intended result of the way electric markets were designed, and you can be sure this design was not formulated by wind and solar producers and is in so sense their fault. It is the design of these markets that should change, not the amount of wind and solar we will deploy to meet climate policy goals. He also overlooks the much larger role cheap natural gas has played in eroding nuclear plant economics.

The primary reason existing nuclear power plants are in trouble is because of cheap natural gas. This is widely understood. In fact, the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) staff itself, in its July proposal to bail out ailing nukes, explained:

Staff’s analysis shows that due to low natural gas prices, forecasted wholesale market prices are significantly lower than the average operating costs of the upstate nuclear units.

Another major reason nuclear power is in trouble is that we don’t have a price on carbon pollution, which would make many existing nukes more profitable, as I discuss below. Ironically, or, rather, tragically, some of the peoplecomplaining the loudest now about the need for nuclear subsidies are those who fought the hardest to kill the best chance this country ever had to enact a carbon price, the 2009 climate and energy bill.

Another major reason nuclear power is in trouble is the industry itself. “The industry hasn’t done itself any favors,” as a Bloomberg article, “The U.S. Nuclear Power Industry’s Dim Future,” explained back in 2013. “A radioactive steam leak and a botched repair job have led to the permanent closure of three reactors in the last several months, two in California operated by Southern California Edison, and another in Florida run by Duke Energy. “

Another major reason nuclear power is in trouble is that U.S. electricity demand growth has been flat for nearly a decade, thanks in large part to state and federal energy efficiency policies. That is not a trend that is likely to change in the next decade, thanks in part to the LED lighting revolution, as I explained earlier this week. Flat demand growth inevitably means lower power prices.

Finally, yes, the rapidly dropping price of solar and wind power has started to create problems for inflexible and costly power sources like nuclear power. While their market penetration is vastly lower than nuclear power, there are times during the day when there is an excess of very-low-cost renewables — since they don’t have the high fueling and operations and maintenance (O&M;) costs nuclear has.

Nuclear advocates want you to believe that this problem with renewables is long-term and unsolvable — whereas it is in fact short-term and straightforward to solve (see “Why The Renewables Revolution Is Now Unstoppable”). It’s not a surprise the usually slow-to-change utility system was unprepared for the astonishingly rapid growth of low-cost solar and wind power. But with electricity storage prices collapsing and literally hundreds ofbusinesses now starting to emerge to find uses for cheap, over-abundant carbon-free power during the day, this is really a short-term problem.

What Kind Of Short-Term Subsidy Should Existing Nukes Get, If Any?

It is true that some existing nuclear plants are shutting down prematurely because they can’t compete with cheap fracked natural gas. That means we are going to end up with more fracked gas and more carbon pollution (both carbon dioxide and methane) — in the short term. And nobody wants that.

So, existing nukes can make a reasonable case for a modest subsidy on the basis of climate change. Or as the NYPSC staff put it in their bail-out proposal, “As a component of the Clean Energy Standard (CES), New York State shall provide a subsidy for zero-emissions attributes to Zero Carbon Electric Generating Facilities when there is a public necessity to encourage the preservation of their zero-emission environmental values or attributes for the benefit of the electric system, its customers and the environment.”

But how much should that subsidy be? The staff argue “payments for zero-emissions attributes would be based upon the U.S. Interagency Working Group’s (USIWG) projected social cost of carbon (SCC).” They proposed an SCC in the $50 per short ton range (it actually starts a bit below that and rises to $65 by the late 2020s). They also subtract out what the nukes get from the power markets and from the CO2 price established by the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

On the surface, that sounds reasonable. If we had a national carbon price set at the SCC, then every nuclear plant would get that benefit anyway. But, of course, we don’t. And because we don’t, simply handing out a subsidy to nuclear power based on that SCC may not be optimal use of that money from a CO2 perspective for two reasons.

First, the nuclear plants probably don’t need all that bail-out money to stay economic. Second, the money they get — particularly the money they don’t need — could almost certainly achieve greater CO2 savings if used for other purposes.

Now it is impossible for anyone to know what the right subsidy is without getting the nuclear operators to open up their (financial) books to the NYPSC. But two years ago, the Brattle Group offered up this analysis of what CO2 subsidy was needed to keep the merchant nukes profitable:

CREDIT: Brattle Group

Yes, this analysis is a couple years old. On the other hand, Brattle did accurately predict the impending shift to unprofitability of half the U.S. merchant nukes. Their key conclusion bears repeating:

About half the threatened nuclear fleet could be supported with an average cost per ton of CO2 avoided below $10/ton… The average cost would be $20/ton.

So it seems as if the NYPSC is severely overpaying their nukes. That seems especially likely given that the nukes in New York State already get a RGGI benefit — whose baseline level the PSC calculates at $10.41 per ton (that number is then later adjusted to reflect the actual RGGI price, which fluctuates, and is currently closer to $5).

I also have serious doubts that this subsidy needs to last until 2029. Within a decade, we are likely to find that existing nukes are even less valuable than we thought. As I’ve said, the rapid advances in renewables, batteries and other storage, demand response, efficiency, and electric vehicles mean that integrating low-cost renewables into the grid will almost certainly be far easier and cheaper and faster than people realize. But that is the subject for another post.

World Peace is Possible Now: An Amazing Free Book Available!

August 7, 2016

World Peace is Possible Now. Indeed, in 2001, the World Bank and the United Nations stated the reasonableness of our workable moral strategy:“Afghanistan needs about $9 billion during the next fiveyears to rebuild after 20 years of war, the United Nations and World Bank have calculated.” That is only $1.8 billion per year for five years, only 0.45% of a U.S. Annual $400++ billion military budget. And via ourworkable moral strategy half of this cost would have been contributed by all other developed nations. Why was the $9 billion not used first for the people of Afghanistan instead of destruction? By April, 2004, donors had already pledged $8.2 billion. Some Afghan regional lords were asking for about $25 billion.

Exploitation leads to wars. When nations and their people, and regions are at peace, helping one another, they advance! It is obvious!



Raymond G. Wilson is an emeritus associate professor of physics at Illinois Wesleyan University who has taught about nuclear war issues since 1959. He is co-director of the Hiroshima Panorama Project in the United States and is associated with the AtomicBombMuseum web site.

[Adapted from the book Nuclear War: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and A Workable Moral Strategy for Achieving and Preserving World Peace, by Raymond G. Wilson.

There is a “Caution” on the cover. The PDF book download is available at no cost at, .]

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image by wikipediaTuesday, August 2, 2016 (6 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Revealed: A Workable Moral World-Peace Plan We propose here a workable moral strategy that would put “everyone” back to work; bring peace and stability; end war-sacrificed lives; and ensure corporate profits, growth, and cooperation; and would allow people to return to peaceful opportunity-laden homelands.

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A Bailout for You and Me There is a better bailout proposal that would solve most of the problems we face.

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To Be Atom Bombed Nuclear war: What is it like? Is there a remedy? Read on.

No Nukes: Bike vs. Bomb

August 7, 2016


Dear All,

Time and time again, I’m moved by the passion and dedication of Global Zero activists all over the world.

Today was no exception.

A few hours ago, I finished riding with over 150 here people in Washington, DC. And stories from many other cities across the globe are continuing to pour in.

Months ago, we began organizing Bike Around the Bomb to call attention to what these devastating weapons were designed to do. Because we believe that if enough of us rise up and demand an end to the nuclear threat, we can push our leaders down a path to zero.

And today, you showed us that you believe it, too.

Thousands of you gathered around the world today on the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, in over 30 cities (and counting!), to send a strong message thatnuclear weapons are too dangerous to ignore. That we can’t wait for the inevitable catastrophe before we act.



I’ve said this many times before, and I still believe it: When we eliminate nuclear weapons, it will be because of you. History doesn’t just happen.
We make it happen.

Take a look at all these photos from around the world. It’s hard not to be inspired.

You’ll notice you can scroll down just about forever – that’s how deep our movement runs. I hope you’ll agree that what you see is worth celebrating.

We’ll be in touch soon with where we go from here. Until then, thank you for everything you do to keep us moving forward.

With gratitude,

Derek Johnson
Executive Director
Global Zero

PS – If you’d like to see more of the kind of efforts you’ve seen today, please consider chipping in $5 right now. Our small but mighty team is supported by small contributions from our members all around the world. Your contribution would make a big difference.

Global Zero is the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons. Support the movement with a contribution here. Receiving emails is one of the best ways to stay up to date on our campaigns and actions. You can also like Global Zero on Facebook here and follow us on Twitter here. To stop receiving fundraising emails but stay on the Global Zero list, click here. If you really need to cut back, you can unsubscribe here. We’re sad to see you go!

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“Very Serious”: Wildfires burn close to US nuclear site

August 4, 2016


 — ‘Red Flag Warning’ issued — FEMA: “Fire threatened such destruction as would constitute a major disaster” — Largest wildfire in country (VIDEO)

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 02:17 PM PDT

Revealed: A Workable Moral World-Peace Plan

August 3, 2016
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Abstract: It has become clear that nuclear weapons are only a symptom of an all-pervasive malignancy of the spirit of the world and of humankind. Some Japanese have an expression for this period of human history in which we find ourselves; they call it “the era of nuclear madness.” We propose here a workable moral strategy that would put “everyone” back to work; bring peace and stability; end war-sacrificed lives; and ensure corporate profits, growth, and cooperation; and would allow people to return to peaceful opportunity-laden homelands.


The sun was rising, only a few clouds; prospects for a good day ahead; but August in Japan”..this was likely to be a hot day. With quiet thoughts to themselves and of family members in Hawaii and on the American west coast, some, very hungry, were optimistically expecting the war to end soon.

That Day: August 6, 1945, 8:15 AM: In the center of Hiroshima, just above Shima Hospital , it seemed like the sun had descended to the earth, followed by the sky blasting down in a Richter-10 cosmic quake from the gods, “rattling the earth’s axis,” scorching, searing, roasting, irradiating, blasting, and crushing everything and everyone below. The sun touched Hiroshima, a blazing inferno with no escape; nuclear radiation made people’s bones radioactive, blast winds in excess of 200 mph. The blast overpressure blew out ear drums and forced eyeballs out of their sockets (exophthalmos), hurled and slammed people into walls. Scorched blistered skin sloughed and peeled off their bodies and dragged on the ground as they tried to escape. The retinas of eyes looking up were burned. Stone and concrete buildings were fire-gutted to their cores, the shatter-blasted glass window fragments sharply tearing into the bodies of those within, and without.

This happened to Hiroshima citizens within seconds on August 6. Birds and butterflies never had a chance. On August 7 the Mayor and whoever else he could find, had to deal with 70,000 dead under their crushed burned homes and heaped and strewn all over the streets, bridges, and river banks of Hiroshima. Over the next two weeks more people would die, day and night, average, 160/hour. Radioactivity was all over the center of the city. Thirteen square kilometers of homes, stores and shops destroyed. One small and primitive nuclear bomb, the equivalent explosive power of 16,000 tons of TNT detonated over the city of 350,000, emitting a huge flood of nuclear radiation. By Dec 31, 1945 the death toll was about 140,000 and the counting could not stop then.

Sumiteru Taniguchi, Jan. 31, 1946, age 17
Sumiteru Taniguchi, Jan. 31, 1946, age 17
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Three days later, August 9, 21,000 tons destroyed Nagasaki and its people. By hindsight and knowledge later gained, neither bomb was necessary. Friend Sumiteru Taniguchi, age 16 in 1945, was the only one of 28 postmen in his group to survive. He was a mile away from the hypocenter.

It has become clear that nuclear weapons are only a symptom of an all-pervasive malignancy of the spirit of the world and of humankind. Some Japanese have an expression for this period of human history in which we find ourselves; they call it “the era of nuclear madness.”

Since 1945 there have been no world conflicts which could have justified the use of nuclear weapons. Are there any American politicians, any “decision makers” or “deciders” that you would trust with the responsibility of using nuclear weapons? Could you trust anyone in the world with this responsibility? Is there anyone qualified to make such a decision? It might be best to remove from human minds the necessity for such decisions.

The physical aspect of the Hiroshima aftermath.
The physical aspect of the Hiroshima aftermath.
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There are people who consider nuclear bombs to be useable weapons of war; after all, in 1945 the Allies actually used two, which many believe ended that war. Sure, they’re usable! During the 1946 Bikini nuclear tests in the South Pacific, U.S. congressmen, invited to witness the tests, were located so far away (for their safety) that many came away naively expressive. “Like a giant firecracker,” said one. Another, “In the next war I hope we don’t have to throw atomic baseballs…” And in Nevada, American G. I.’s advanced under the fallout of mushroom clouds to immediately test themselves near radioactive ground zero. Later, a team of American congressional investigators concluded, “The greatest irony of our atmospheric nuclear testing program is that the only victims of United States nuclear arms since World War II have been our own people.”

Constant Conflict, “There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing.” (Major (P) Ralph Peters of the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, 1997, where he was responsible for future warfare (retired as Lieutenant Colonel in 1998).

Dwight D. Eisenhower: “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can; only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

The people of the world plead for peace, plead for an end to the killing and suffering, the destruction and displacement, and their leaders cannot achieve it, don’t even seriously try. If it were not so damned serious it would be laughable; that the great majority of all people of the earth want peace and a better life so badly, and their leaders seem powerless and sufficiently witless to obtain it for us. What I wish to ask of all members of the United Nations is, “How many more centuries are you going to continue to allow the ‘stupidity’ and atrocities of wars? Do we need to find minds wiser? Look at the ‘Purposes of the UN.’ Read what you all signed onto.”

Of all the excellent plans for world peace created by knowledgeable brilliant world scholars and statesman, why have none ever been discussed and implemented at the international level? Is there a blockage, a structured impediment that prevents or subverts such efforts? Is it likely that the required wisdom will be found in today’s politically directed diplomats?

Carroll Quigley: “The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching [plan], nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.”

I ask “Who authorized that? What has resulted?

Albert Einstein: “The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature.

Einstein again: “Unless by common struggle we are capable of new ways of thinking, mankind is doomed. At present we are bound by political thinking, much of which seems dictated by private financial interests, not human or necessarily moral interests.”

Let us attempt some “new ways of thinking,” based upon human and moral interests!

Consider the following: It must be true that in an ideal peaceful world, a world without the conventional weapons of war, without tanks, missiles, bombers, warships, drones, there would be no need for nuclear weapons, so-called weapons of mass destruction, weapons that treat people like matter. A world without conventional weapons of war, and thus no need for nuclear weapons, could that be achieved?

A subtle driving force behind the huge US military budgets is the fear of a nuclear attack upon our cities. The U.S. military policies established by Congress and the President are impelled by external forces of fear and terror and undoubtedly by internal forces of greed.

Rather than the myopic focus mainly on nuclear abolition with its nettlesome concerns of nuclear breakouts, nuclear terrorisms, and distrusts, we should develop the courage to aggressively follow a path which circumvents and defuses terrorists’ and renegade nations’ continuous regional threats, terrors, and wars.

The world initiatives for action needs to be stripped away from the war mongers with their insidious subversions, their mythological belief in their superiority and destiny to rule the world. World initiatives need to be directed toward peace, not war, for all those nations which are ready for peace, ready for the promised advances of the 21 st century.

We will propose here a workable moral strategy that would solve many problems facing the world, including the war problem. It is an alternative that creates advantages for the working people of the world and at the same time provides advantages to the social, industrial, financial, and defense complexes of world nations, and it does so without “damaging” such complexes. This workable strategy provides a remedy to unemployment throughout the world. We will show that the strategy will put back to work the original creators of the world’s wealth, initially well more than a million of them, half in the United States, for starters. It will create useful peacetime employment for multiple millions in the “Less Developed World”. It will reestablish worldwide markets for peacetime products manufactured by all participating nations. In all nations seeking peace the strategy will provide for creativity and peaceful advantageous productivity. It will effectively isolate war mongering people and nations.

This workable moral strategy seems the only approach, for decades or centuries to come, by which people of the “Less Developed” world, in peace, without war, can become their own masters, can create the sensible path to their own destinies, as so many other nations have done, and live to enjoy some of it.

This workable moral strategy exports no United States’ or other nation’s money; it fosters the expressed desires of all people and nations seeking peace, justice, opportunity, and a better life. This strategy has been referred to by one as “brilliant”. Well, certainly; the strategy incorporates ideas advocated by J. Robert Oppenheimer, Philip Morrison & Kostas Tsipis, Albert Einstein, and James C. Warf, some very bright fellows. What will be described and recommended is a workable moral strategy that Barack Obama might well refer to as the “incentivization” of world peace.


Our workable moral strategy will put a rather unprecedented twist onto thoughts from Albert Einstein who stated: In view of these evident facts there is, in my opinion, only one way out. 1) It is necessary that conditions be established that guarantee the individual state the right to solve its conflicts with other states on a legal basis and under international jurisdiction. 2) It is necessary that the individual state be prevented from making war by a supranational organization supported by a military power that is exclusively under its control. Only when these two conditions have been fully met can we have some assurance that we shall not vanish into the atmosphere, dissolved into atoms, one of these days.”

Would you and your family be nuclear-dissolved? Our strategy will reinterpret “one way out.”

All nuclear weapons states and nuclear would-be states have contracted this cancerous nuclear malignancy; it is deadly in many ways. There is a practical cure for this disease which would make the possession of nuclear weapons a counterproductive unnecessary burden and hindrance. J. Robert Oppenheimer, “father” of the United States’ atomic bombs, told us in 1946: “Wars might be avoided by: universal disarmament; limited national sovereignties; provision for all people of the world: of a rising standard of living, better education, more contact with and better understanding of others; and equal access to the technical and raw materials which are needed for improving life”.

A Pro-Active Workable Moral Plan Creating Over 1,000,000 Jobs

The late Hiroshima physicist Naomi Shohno believed that it was the responsibility of the United States to lead the world in the direction of peace. To him, no other nation will, no other nation could. Who would even try? Russia? United Kingdom? China? Japan? Does the United States really want to lead the world in the direction of peace, or of “constant conflict”?

The forces in support of war have caused the United States to spend over a trillion dollars in one year, paying for wars; peace has not come, but constant conflict has. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them,” said Albert Einstein.

Those of the military-industrial-congressional-complex advocate the application of military force as solutions to world problems. They also keep us worried enough so that we will dispose of our hard-earned wealth by putting more money into arms, super-drones, spy-satellites, nuclear weapon revisions, and surging boots on the ground, rather than using our wealth to eliminate the real threats without preemptive murderous wars and destructive attacks and battles. It was the United Nations that was established to lead the world in the direction of peace.

What shall be proposed: would put “everyone” back to work; bring peace and stability; end war-sacrificed lives; and ensure corporate profits, growth, and cooperation; and would restore people to their peaceful homelands.

The United States announces a strategy, that starting one year from now it will revise the manner by which it provides aid to all other nations and particularly to those of the “Less Developed” world, provides aid using American taxpayers’ wealth. It will no longer be direct aid. All other Developed nations are encouraged to similarly participate so that they can also obtain the benefits which will accrue to them just as benefits will accrue to the United States.

Henceforth, rather than direct aid, the United States will provide the United Nations with $165 billion per year in “credit chits” (promissory notes) for use by “Less Developed” nations. Other developed nations are invited to contribute in total an additional $165 billion in “credit chits” to the UN; more if they wish. No actual money leaves any nation. The credit chits originating in the U.S. will only be redeemable for cash at the United States Treasury by American businesses and industries. With cooperation from other nations it means $330 billion or more per year of development to the “Less Developed” world, very roughly 10 times what is now provided by the U.S. alone, a great deal of which we know under the current system is wasted, corrupted, or spent on tools of war .

Affordable? On April 10, 2009 the small nation of Japan, not at war with anyone, announced a $150 billion government stimulus package. In 2009 Japan thought it could afford to do this. I can hear a conservative United States Congress shouting that we cannot afford to do something like that. But financial resources are always found for wars. We can be smart enough to find them for a peace which eliminates wars and the costs of wars. This proposed strategy will have a stimulus unlike others with which the United States has briefly experimented.

 Recall the temporary 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI); we might ask Haiti how that worked for them. Other failed projects of the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) are mentioned in this document: Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 65: The Continuing Failure of Foreign Aid , January 31, 1986, James Bovard. On July 27, 2016, Japanese Prime Minister Abe announced another economic stimulus package, this time, $274 billion ( New York Times, Aug 2, 2016).

We will show that this workable strategy will lead to more than 500,000 U.S. peacetime manufacturing jobs in the first year, and more than 500,000 other peacetime jobs throughout the world.

The United Nations makes the “credit chits” available to peaceful democratic nations of the “Less Developed” world. To help them along the way, chits will also be very cautiously offered to those nations which are verifiably peacefully evolving toward equitable nondiscriminatory constitutional democracy.

Democratization is essential; can you imagine the people of any truly democratic nation, participants in this moral strategy, choosing going to war when it would be obvious that there are alternative non-military diplomatic and economic approaches to solving critical international conflicts?

The chits are made available to “Less Developed” nations on the basis of solicited application of: development proposals from them, verifiable need, and guarantees against misuse or corruption.

These chits to be issued by the United Nations may be utilized only for social and economic development, six specific self-sufficiency goals:

1) Modern appropriate agriculture, food, and fresh pure water production.

2) Good housing and its basic amenities, including electricity, plumbing, sewage.

3) Health care, with hospitals and well-trained doctors.

4) National wealth creation and infrastructure from their own natural and human resources.

5) Civilian security.

6) Education and training at all levels to support items 1-5.

All chits must be used for peacetime goods and services. None of these credit chits can be used to pay off loans or obligations nations may have from other nations or institutions such as the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank. Nor may these chits be used by the United Nations to service this program. The solicited development proposals submitted to the United Nations by “Less Developed” nations will be carefully evaluated, in terms of the proposed societal, cultural, economic, and environmental impact, and in terms of protection against abuse and corruption. Unacceptable proposals shall be returned for revision until they are in line with this UN sanctioned strategy. The UN will aid revisions.

The United Nations, administering this program, will not grant chits to nations where war exists or is likely or where violations of rights: gender, religious, human, or ethnic, are active or not being remediated. Repressive and military governments and martial law governments will not qualify for participation in this program, nor will any nation, chit donor or receiver, regardless of its power and influence, which is not fully and actively transparently participating and cooperating in the worldwide elimination of: armaments of war, nuclear weapons, terrorism, and the illicit drug trade. In democracies seeking peace and advancement what will the people choose?

The above is the essential specification to this workable moral strategy for achieving and preserving world peace. There are three additional “recommendations,” below.

When a proposal is accepted and to be funded, the United Nations awards the fund amount in “Developed World credit chits” for peacetime goods and services. The chits must make their way back to their origin nation within two years of issue, and may pass through or transfer among several nations; all must be on the approved list of democratic nations which abide by the United Nations Charter and all Covenants and are participants in this program.

“Less Developed” nations receiving credit chits can expect constant on-site verification and audit by United Nations inspectors, comptrollers, and visitors. The “Less Developed” nations can also expect international news and local news reporting the progress of their projects, and their failures or lack of progress. The UN understands the how, when, and why of failed development projects. They will be responsible for avoiding such errors and failures in this workable moral strategy.

Preference in the allocation of development credit chits will be given to those nations:

1) Which are able to demonstrate a continuing reduction or lack of “war armament”.

2) Which are part of a multination cooperative regional development with other democracies.

3) Preference will be given to nations which have instituted United Nations recommended and appropriate educational programs designed to lead their nations peacefully through the 21st Century.

The UN educational programs will teach ways to peace, support, and cooperation, not ways to conflict and war.

When the chits arrive back in the developed nation of origin they do not go to the national treasury. They go to the origin nation’s makers and suppliers of the peacetime goods and services. Upon verified delivery of those goods and services and verification of their proper installation and successful continuous operation, the chits may then becashed in by the goods and services creators and suppliers at the origin nation’s treasury, thus enhancing wealth, productivity, and employment in the nation of chit origin. This flow chart illustrates the process.

Flow chart
Flow chart
(image by Raymond G. Wilson)
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In a year’s time $165 billion or more will flow from the U.S. Treasury into the U.S. economy as wages and salaries and production costs. The U.S. creators and suppliers pay their workers and they replenish their supplies from U.S. sources whenever possible. In the U.S. workers’ pay their income tax, Medicare and Social Security tax, college tuitions, and make payments on their home mortgages. Everyone works, everyone benefits as was meant to be in the US. It would be more than foolish for a creator and supplier nation to supply goods created outside their nation.

The chits can be converted to money only in the chit origin nation, the money going to the workers and their industries. Wherever possible the chits should be put to work in donor nation geographic regions where there is greatest unemployment, e.g., Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Nevada, Michigan, Illinois, D.C., California, etc.

There will be great advantages to all nations who make chit deposits into this program, and considerable disadvantages to those who can, but do not. The more chits deposited, the greater economic value accrues to the depositor nation. It should be obvious.

Also, since each “Less Developed” nation will be creating new productive businesses and industries, they too can become suppliers of goods and services outside their nation. However, their main goal is satisfying the needs of their own people, and that may well include establishing external trade relationships.

Each “Less Developed” nation, recipients in this program, will keep an appropriate size national militia trained for natural and other disaster service and for maintaining civil order in times of need, but not for the burden of war. With the war burden gone in the “Less Developed” world, their former expensive and burdensome military costs will now provide peacetime labor costs within these “Less Developed” nations. Factories, offices, homes, schools, hospitals, roads, farms, shopping centers, etc., must be built and staffed. Great changes could be obtainable in two years rather than twenty, and in twenty years rather than 200. It is expected that this program could be phased out after 20 or 25 years, after one generation.

The only way life can improve in the “Less Developed” world is for those nations to increase their own productivity of their lives’ necessities; they need to create their own wealth, their own future as India, Sierra Leone, and China are doing in this century.

Each Less Developed nation should insist on themselves creating “added value” to their natural resources (with due consideration to the societal and environmental impact) by processing such resources at home, rather than simply shipping only raw and crude materials abroad: phosphates, copper, chromium, aluminum, lithium, rare earths, diamonds, uranium, oil, minerals, etc. By this means greater wealth is created in each “Less Developed” nation, and will allow them much greater freedom and economic power, e.g., for additionalnon-military imports from developed nations, like the U.S., Japan, China, India, Germany, Russia, etc. And the “Less Developed” nationsmust plan ahead for when their natural resources are depleting.

Each year this workable and moral program will see returned to the nonmilitary economies of the developed nations, in total, some US$330 billion or more, to be used solely for peacetime goods and services! Hence, this proposed program should greatly reduce unemployment in any nation participating, supplier or receiver.

This program will put workers, the original creators of wealth, back on the job. I would estimate that the first year could create in the U.S. alone some 500,000 or more jobs, and at least that many outside the U.S. Where do we get such an estimate of the number of jobs to be created or restored? David Swanson in Roots Action, Sept. 9, 2011; Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst). ( click here)

Consider, compare, what the 3,500,000,000 people of the “Less Developed” world do not have, and who is capable of supplying it! There are abundant opportunities for all! This is “The Incentivization of World Peace.”

An exchange can be made:

— With self-sufficiency and self-defined but true democracy growing in the “Less Developed” world and the virtual elimination there of poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, disease, neocolonialism, rights deprivation, indebtedness, exploitation, and slavery;

— The entire world could have full economic recovery, elimination of the possibility for international nuclear catastrophe, and the practical elimination of war.

— In a world at peace the refugee problem is solved. The killing stops and solutions toworldwide problems can be found. The basic tool is cooperation and proper incentives, not sanctions, boycotts, and deadly threats; justified benefits, not penalties; advantages for all. As promised, no money would leave any nation or pass through the UN, and the credit chits never pass through the World Bank, or any bank, or the International Monetary Fund.

The Developed World and the UN would be signaling to all: we will no longer support wars. To those nations that wish to make peaceful advancement we are here to provide guidance and support.

With nations in full peacetime production and without threats of war, national debts should be payable. Workers with money in their pockets would stimulate other domestic industries which would not be dependent upon the chit payouts. New ventures in energy production, medical instrumentation, nano-electronics, transportation, communications, homes, their furnishings and appliances, etc., could proceed without chit payout funds.What effect would a thriving well-managed economy have on social problems? Would it make them solvable? If the economies and opportunities in Central American nations were thriving, without drug lords and their gangs, would Latinos still wish to migrate to America for menial jobs?

Boulders in the Road

Regrettably, at present, not all nations seem to wish to live in peace with their neighbors. For a temporary period, there must be assembled, trained and integrated , a United Nations multinational force, armed if necessary, the principle function of which shall be to immediately aid any nation which abides by the United Nations Charter and all Covenants when it is nationally or physically abused or attacked by another . The attacking nation must face opposition from all other 193 (at present) United Nations. That should give pause about even considering international aggression. United Nations Charter Articles 41 and 42 speak to this.

That would not mean that war begins. Support for the unjustly attacked nation can come in many forms. For instance, if a nation considering such an attack realized that should its attack commence: that all of its assets held outside its borders would be frozen; that its borders would be closed; that its harbors and airports would be blocked, nothing would come in or go out; that its communications systems would be closed down; etc.; would that nation still carry out an attack? If it did, then that aggressor, clearly violating its signed obligations under the United Nations Charter, will be penalized, shall pay the UN Multinational Force costs and reparations; and likely experience an enforced remedial governance change toward democracy. Their weapons lost in warfare will not be allowed to be replaced, a step which should cause great hesitation about even considering armed aggression.

This writer’s book, Nuclear War: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and A Workable Moral Strategy for Achieving and Preserving World Peace,employing “new ways of thinking,” speaks to two specific “boulders” in the road to peace: (1) Palestine/Israel, and (2) the Senkaku/Diaoyu/Tiaoyutai islands.

Three further Recommendations:

Recommendation 1. To further assure and advance self-determination, development, and confidence for the people of all nations it is necessary to establish government and private international exchange programs involving 10,000 to 30,000 people per year, students, teachers, workers, farmers, artists, government officials, scientists, athletes and upper-bracket bureaucrats; for the purpose of finding friendships, and creative new approaches to cooperation and development for mutual and world benefit.

Recommendation 2. The “Sister Cities Program” should be greatly expanded to include the poorer nations of the world. Does Timbuktu (in Mali) have a sister city in the “Developed World”? Does your town have a sister city in the Developing World? Why not?Shall we soon be able to have sister cities in North Korea? How about Kimhyonggwon county in the DPRK (North Korea)?

Recommendation 3. The United Nations needs to decide when and how it can intervene in the internal affairs of a “nation.” The United Nations’ inability to act over past years has sanctioned the deaths of millions. Consider Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan, Somalia, and now in 2016: Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and eastern Ukraine, etc. The United Nations needs to come to grips with the fact that United Nations actions “which were possible in 1946 at the creation of the UN” are woefully inadequate and much too late for events of the modern electronic and high speed world. The Cold War has ended; greater United Nations activity without vetoes should be possible with minds more wise. What shall be done about civil wars and “ethnic cleansings”? How many need to be killed, imprisoned, or tortured, before the United Nations shall act: 10,000 or 100,000 or 1,000,000? What was the 2006 year-end death toll in the Sudan? Syria’s is now over 400,000 and the DRC 6 million! What shall be the limit before a nation is dismissed from the United Nations until its leadership is replaced, perhaps by the United Nations, and the oppressed people are empowered? Clearly, under the world conditions being proposed by this workable moral strategy which would lead to modern-day democratic nations, such repression and civil wars would be highly unlikely.

Lastly, the United Nations needs to specify the penalty for any nation that employs a nuclear weapon in offense or defense. It is absolutely clear that such use would be a crime against humanity. There will be people to be found guilty. From ignorance, nuclear nations are susceptible to committing nuclear atrocities. I can envision the world’s non-nuclear nations not letting anyone get away with it next time.


Greater security for all nations can be obtained by worldwide reduction of the weapons of all nations rather than increasing and improving arsenals everywhere, as we are doing, as has been done for past centuries. You see the results. The next world nuclear war will likely kill more people than all the wars preceding it.

This proposal is probably the only approach, for decades or centuries to come, by which people of the “Less developed” world, in peace, can become their own masters, can create the sensible path to their own destinies as so many other nations have. Who will hold them back?

How Do Enemies Become Friends? I have come to the firm belief that in contrast to past policies, if a nation wishes to be at peace, the most effective use of any nation’s “defense” budget, consists of not resorting to murderous war, but by some safe and equitable means, engaging in the proactive conversion of existent or potential enemies into friends, all working for a peaceful world with justice and fairness for all. Historical evidence proves it can be done. Too difficult? But what do we have now?

Justification: A Moral World ViewDoes the developed world and its people have any responsibility for the conditions of poverty, starvation, slavery, disease, displaced refugees, rights deprivation, war and killing, and illiteracy, etc., as they now exist in the former colonial and the “Less Developed” world, in Africa , in Asia and the Middle East , in Latin America ? The answer depends in part on whether you and your nation have taken selfish advantage of people of the “Less Developed” world. Over past centuries has the developed world exploited the people of the “Undeveloped World”? If so, does the developed world have any unfulfilled moral obligations to the former colonial world?

World Peace is Possible Now. Indeed, in 2001, the World Bank and the United Nations stated the reasonableness of our workable moral strategy: “Afghanistan needs about $9 billion during the next five years to rebuild after 20 years of war, the United Nations and World Bank have calculated.” That is only $1.8 billion per year for five years, only 0.45% of a U.S. Annual $400++ billion military budget. And via our workable moral strategy half of this cost would have been contributed by all other developed nations. Why was the $9 billion not used first for the people of Afghanistan instead of destruction? By April, 2004, donors had already pledged $8.2 billion. Some Afghan regional lords were asking for about $25 billion.

Exploitation leads to wars. When nations and their people, and regions are at peace, helping one another, they advance! It is obvious!



Raymond G. Wilson is an emeritus associate professor of physics at Illinois Wesleyan University who has taught about nuclear war issues since 1959. He is co-director of the Hiroshima Panorama Project in the United States and is associated with the AtomicBombMuseum web site.

[Adapted from the book Nuclear War: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and A Workable Moral Strategy for Achieving and Preserving World Peace, by Raymond G. Wilson. There is a “Caution” on the cover. The PDF book download is available at no cost at, .]

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image by wikipediaTuesday, August 2, 2016 (6 comments)      Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon
Revealed: A Workable Moral World-Peace Plan We propose here a workable moral strategy that would put “everyone” back to work; bring peace and stability; end war-sacrificed lives; and ensure corporate profits, growth, and cooperation; and would allow people to return to peaceful opportunity-laden homelands.

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A Bailout for You and Me There is a better bailout proposal that would solve most of the problems we face.

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To Be Atom Bombed Nuclear war: What is it like? Is there a remedy? Read on.

But, Mr. Putin, You Just Don’t Understand

August 2, 2016

Business lobby says Abe gov’t can’t rely on nuclear energy

July 24, 2016

Business lobby says Abe gov't can't rely on nuclear energyPolice officers and security personnel stand guard at an entrance of Kyushu Electric Power’s Sendai nuclear power plant, during a protest against the plant’s restart, in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, last August.Reuters photo


Japan’s use of nuclear power is unlikely to meet a government target of returning to near pre-Fukushima levels and the world’s No. 3 economy needs to get serious about boosting renewables, a senior executive at a top business lobby said.

Under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s energy policies, nuclear is supposed to supply a fifth of energy generation by 2030, but Teruo Asada, vice chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, said Japan was unlikely to get anywhere near this.

The influential business lobby has issued a proposal urging Tokyo to remove hurdles for renewable power amid the shaky outlook for nuclear power after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

The move shows how business attitudes are now shifting as reactor restarts get held up by legal challenges, safety issues and public skepticism.

“We have a sense of crisis that Japan will become a laughing stock if we do not encourage renewable power,” said Asada, who is also chairman of trading house Marubeni Corp.

Long dependent on imported fossil fuels, Japan’s government and big business actively promoted nuclear energy despite widespread public opposition.

The government wants nuclear to make up 20-22% of electricity supply by 2030, down from 30% before Fukushima. So far, however, only two out of 42 operable reactors have started and the newly elected governor of the prefecture where they are located has pledged to shut them.

Renewables supplied 14.3% of power in the year to March 2016 and the government’s 2030 target is 22-24%.

“In the very long term, we have to lower our dependence on nuclear. Based on current progress, nuclear power reliance may not reach even 10%,” said Asada, adding the association wanted measures to encourage private investment in renewables and for public funding of infrastructure such as transmission lines.

The influential business lobby has a membership of about 1,400 executives from around 950 companies.

Andrew DeWit, a professor at Rikkyo University in Tokyo focusing on energy issues, said the push signaled “a profound change in thinking among blue-chip business executives.”

“Many business leaders have clearly thrown in the towel on nuclear and are instead openly lobbying for Japan to vault to global leadership in renewables, efficiency and smart infrastructure.”

When asked about the association’s proposals, an industry ministry official said the government was maintaining its nuclear target.

“The Japanese government will aim for the maximum introduction of renewable energy but renewable energy has a cost issue,” said Yohei Ogino, a deputy director for energy policy.

But three sources familiar with official thinking told Reuters in May that Japan will cut reliance on nuclear power when it releases an updated energy plan as early as next year.

Following the nuclear reactor meltdowns at Fukushima in 2011, Japan has had some success in overcoming one of the world’s worst peacetime energy crises, partly due to lower oil prices and liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices.

Japan has also promoted renewables but most investment has been in solar and in recent years it has cut incentives.

“There are too many hurdles for other sources of renewable power,” Asada said.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.

The Absurd US Stance on Israel’s Nukes: A Video Sampling of Denial

July 22, 2016
by , May 24, 2011


On Tuesday, at a rare joint session of Congress for a foreign leader, members of Congress will clap hands raw for Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel—a nation many members of Congress are incapable of speaking simple truths about.

The upshot of the professional wrestling “fight” between Obama and Netanyahu the last several days is that they both want the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be decided by “negotiations between the parties.” These “negotiations” are between a nuclear armed Goliath Israel and largely defenseless Palestinians. It’s like “negotiations” between the Corleone family and a bandleader—except we’re not even supposed to notice the Corleone family comes to the table with huge guns drawn.

Sunday at AIPAC Obama spoke of the “existential fear of Israelis when a modern dictator seeks nuclear weapons and threatens to wipe Israel off the face of the map—face of the Earth.” He spoke of “our commitment to our shared security in our determination to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.” Obama said to applause from the attendees at the pro-Israel group: “So let me be absolutely clear—we remain committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. … Its illicit nuclear program is just one challenge that Iran poses.” Of course, Netanyahu is ever more vociferous in his accusations regarding Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.

But at his first news conference at the White House in February 2009, Obama was asked by Helen Thomas if he knew of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons. Obama replied that he didn’t want to “speculate.”

It’s simply not a credible position to have.

Obama is accusing Iran of having an “illicit nuclear program” (which seems to exaggerate the National Intelligence Estimate findings) while refusing to acknowledge the Israeli nuclear weapons arsenal. Mordechai Vanunu definitively exposed Israel’s nuclear weapons program in 1986 and was tossed into prison for 18 years, most of it in solitary confinement, for doing so. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that Israel has between 70 and 400 nuclear weapons. These weapons pose a real—not a potential or an imagined—threat to millions upon millions of people in and beyond the region. So do nuclear weapons held by other countries, but at least they are acknowledged.

But the U.S. and Israeli governments have maintained a stance of “deliberate nuclear ambiguity” since Richard Nixon and Golda Meir made a deal on the matter and stopped nuclear inspections in Israel in 1970.

The U.S. government’s stance is particularly absurd given that the main pretext for invading Iraq was false claims about that country’s alleged possession of WMDs.

As part of Washington Stakeout, where I ask tough questions of politicians as they leave the Sunday morning chat shows, I’ve asked a host of politicians about Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Though they’ve varied somewhat in their answers, none has actually been straightforward.

John Negroponte, who when I questioned him was director of national intelligence, outright refused to engage on the issue: “I don’t want to get into a discussion about Israel’s nuclear powers.” While they were in office, Cheney and Rice wouldn’t stop for Stakeout questions at all.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told me that “there is no comparison between Israel and Iran, and those who would draw a comparison ignore the fact that Israel is our ally,” virtually defining what hypocrisy is. Similarly, I asked John Edwards, “Doesn’t Israel have nuclear weapons?” and he responded by voicing his concern about “Iran having a nuclear weapon” and the proliferation that would allegedly cause: “odds are high that if Iran goes nuclear that the Saudis will go nuclear, the Egyptians will go nuclear, the Jordanians may go nuclear”—all without acknowledging that Israel has nuclear weapons.

Which raises a central question: If Iran is going nuclear, why would that be? One possible answer is because Israel has nuclear weapons. Contrary to conventional wisdom, that seems to have been the case with Iraq. Imad Khadduri, who worked on the Iraq nuclear weapons program beginning in 1981—after Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor— told me that the Israeli attack actually drove him and others to work on a weapons program: “I worked on the pre-1981 nuclear program and I was certain it would not be used for military purposes. But after the 1981 bombing, we were so angry that we were ready to work on a military program.” (Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Khadduri argued that, contrary to what the Bush administration was claiming, the Iraqi nuclear weapons program had been dismantled.)

Another reason that regimes might get weapons of mass destruction is self-preservation. That is certainly a lesson one could draw looking at Iraq and Libya over the last 10 years: Both disarmed and both were attacked. Viewing U.S. policy in that light, it would seem rather suicidal for the Iranian government to not develop nuclear weapons. Of course, we don’t know that they are, but if anything, militarized U.S. policy seems to be pushing them in that direction.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who is vice-chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, paused when I asked him if he knew that Israel had nuclear weapons, then said, “I’m aware that Israel is our most cherished ally…” I followed up: “Do you think it increases or decreases U.S. credibility around the world when U.S. government officials can’t even acknowledge that Israel has a massive nuclear arsenal?” Pence stuck to his line: “The American people support Israel. I call Israel our most cherished ally…” He was utterly incapable of engaging on the issue.

Somewhat similarly, former ambassador Martin Indyk replied: “What does that got to do with it, sir?”

Newt Gingrich, initially when asked if he knew Israel had nuclear weapons, said “of course,” but then backtracked, saying it was a “guess” since the Israeli nuclear weapons program could be a “Potemkin village.” A friend retorted that perhaps Gingrich would be inclined to question the reality of the moon landings. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), when I questioned him, was chair of the House Armed Services Committee. He similarly said he “thought” Israel had nuclear weapons, but didn’t “know,” because “I’m not the government.”

I questioned Russ Feingold in 2010, shortly before he lost his seat, and he initially said, “I’m not free to comment on that.” I asked: “Why can you not say that Israel is a nuclear power, Senator?” Feingold replied: “I basically think it is, but I’m not somebody who is privy to all the details on that.” But Feingold was on the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the time of this exchange. In any case, the necessary information on Israel’s nuclear weapons is public.

This year, I questioned John Kerry: “Do you know that Israel has a nuclear weapons program?” Kerry: “Sure. Everybody—it’s common knowledge and commonly understood.” Question: “Why won’t the administration acknowledge that?” Kerry: “I don’t know what the administration policy is on that.” It was good to get a “sure,” but it’s rather remarkable that Kerry states he doesn’t know what the administration policy is given that he is chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

Former Minnesota governor—and current presidential aspirant—Tim Pawlenty: “It’s a determination for Israel. … If it’s been established as a matter of fact, it speaks for itself.” Thomas Pickering, former U.S. ambassador to the UN: “It’s a decision for Israel to make.”

In April 2007 I asked former president Jimmy Carter at the National Press Club about why no administration would acknowledge Israel’s nuclear weapons. He responded: “When I was president, I did not comment on Israel’s nuclear arsenal. But it’s generally known throughout the diplomatic and scientific world that Israel does have [a] substantial arsenal. … It’s [Israel’s nuclear power] well known anyway to every diplomat, scientist involved in nuclear affairs, it doesn’t make it incumbent or important that the president of the United States announces that another nation does have nuclear arsenal. … I don’t think it’s up to the U.S. government, president or officials to announce that another country does indeed have or have not nuclear arsenal if they themselves don’t acknowledge it. I don’t think it’s helpful to do that, but … it’s not harmful either because everybody knows it” (The Press Trust of India, April 5, 2007).

Finally, in 2008 Carter acknowledged the obvious truth somewhat more forthrightly: “The U.S. has more than 12,000 nuclear weapons; the Soviet Union [sic] has about the same; Great Britain and France have several hundred, and Israel has 150 or more.” Perhaps, when he is years out of office, Obama will tell the truth about things like Israel’s nukes.

In 2006, in what were described as “slips,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and then-incoming Secretary of Defense Robert Gates referred to Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

As with anticipated moves at getting the Palestinian issue seriously before the United Nations in September of this year (a move Obama is denouncing), in 2009, the U.S., Canada, and other Western nations attacked and tried to block a vote by the International Atomic Energy Agency calling on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. After 18 years of trying, the measure was finally passed.

In his widely heralded 2009 speech in Cairo, Obama emphasized the need for truth. It’s long past time to stop the games, get real about the Mideast, and have a fact-based discussion. A good place to start is an acknowledgment of the threatening elephant in the room that is Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal.

Many thanks to Chris Belcher of Alchymedia for camera and video work.

Read more by Sam Husseini


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