Home » Posts tagged 'don fitz'

Tag Archives: don fitz

Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Post Archives by Category

Nuclear Fusion: Eternal Energy = Eternal Damnation

Nuclear Fusion: Eternal Energy = Eternal Damnation

Like a third rate zombie movie on Netflix, delusions of nuclear fusion repeatedly rise from the dead.  The cover story in the June 2023 issue of Scientific American by Philip Ball, “Star Power: Does Fusion Have a Future After All?” recycles the corporate line which was broadcast on December 13, 2022.  The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory had reached a “breakthrough” in developing an alternative to fission.

As Joshua Frank described the hype over nuclear fusion …

“… there’s no toxic mining involved, nor do thousands of gallons of cold water have to be pumped in to cool overheated reactors, nor will there be radioactive waste byproducts lasting hundreds of thousands of years. And not a risk of a nuclear meltdown in sight! Fusion, so the cheery news went, is safe, effective, and efficient!”

After six months of the announcement’s being debunked, the Scientific American article admitted some of the inherent faults with fusion, repeated some of the original misstatements, and went on with detailed descriptions of technical tweaks necessary to make the technology viable in the second half of the century. Unfortunately,  most of those who criticized fusion missed one of its most serious dangers – that discovering a source of limitless cheap energy would doom humanity’s future rather than enhance it.

The Terror

In order to interpret the spin of the military-industrial-pseudo-scientific (MIPS) complex, we need to appreciate the primary obstacle to expanding nuclear power.  MIPS must overcome the intense terror of nukes.

The terror began with images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.  Photos of burnt bodies are burned into the minds of their viewers.  MIPS seeks to discount the images with the myth that Japan had to be nuked, even though it was ready to surrender…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

What Would a Deep Green New Deal Look Like?

What Would a Deep Green New Deal Look Like?

Wind turbines in the Columbia Gorge. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

The Green New Deal has attracted perhaps the greatest attention of any proposal for decades.  It would guarantee Medicare-for-All, Housing-for-All, student loan forgiveness and propose the largest economic growth in human history to address unemployment and climate change.

But the last of these hits a stumbling block.  Creation of all forms of energy contributes to the destruction of nature and human life.  It is possible to increase the global quality of life at the same time we reduce the use of fossil fuels and other sources of energy.  Therefore, a “deep” GND would focus on energy reduction, otherwise known as energy conservation.  Decreasing total energy use is a prerequisite for securing human existence.

Recognizing True Dangers

Fossil fuel (FF) dangers are well-known and include the destruction of Life via global heating.   FF problems also include land grabs from indigenous peoples, farmers, and communities throughout the world as well as the poisoning of air from burning and destruction of terrestrial and aquatic life from spills.  But those who focus on climate change tend to minimize very real danger of other types of energy production.  A first step in developing a genuine GND is to acknowledge the destructive potential of “alternative energy” (AltE).

Nuclear power (nukes).  Though dangers of nuclear disasters such as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima are horrific, problems with the rest of its life cycle are often glossed over.  Mining, milling, and transporting radioactive material to supply nukes with fuel and “dispose” of it exposes entire communities to poisoning that results in a variety of cancers.  Though operation of nukes produces few greenhouse gases (GHGs), enormous quantities are released during production of steel, cement and other materials for building nuclear plants…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Dammed Good Question about the Green New Deal

Dammed Good Question about the Green New Deal

Hydroelectric power from dams might be the thorniest question that proponents of the Green New Deal (GND) have to grapple with. Providing more energy than solar and wind combined, dams could well become the backup for energy if it proves impossible to get off of fossil fuels fast enough. 

An August 2019 forum on the GND included representatives from the Sunrise Movement, Renew Missouri and three of us in the Green Party. Rev. Elston McCowan asked, “What does the Green New Deal say about rivers and dams?” I said “That’s a dammed good question” and went into some of the issues below. Howie Hawkins and Dario Hunter, both candidates for the Green Party presidential nomination, told of their participation in local efforts to block dam construction. But trying to defeat a single dam begs the question of what policy a political organization has toward them. [1]

GND proposals from the Democratic Party, like those of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, ignore both nuclear power and dams. Yet dams have ominous implications for the world’s rivers. 

Rivers and lakes are an integral part of human existence, with virtually all major inland cities being located next to one of them. They provide water for drinking, bathing, food, and medicine. Their sustenance is not just for humans but for untold numbers of tiny organisms, insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. Rivers integrate plant and animal life forms and connect human communities to each other. 

As capitalism grew, rivers transported huge quantities of lumber from clear cuts, oil from under the ground and coal ripped from mountains. Rivers have been used for trash disposal, as if carrying it somewhere else would make it vanish.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Green Party Debates Green New Deal

Green Party Debates Green New Deal

Photograph Source: Senate Democrats – CC BY 2.0

Despite the furor over the Green New Deal (GND), many of its supporters have no idea of the wide variety of views on it, especially within the Green Party (GP), where it originated in the US. From June through August, 2019 Missouri Greens held public discussions contrasting at least three distinct GP views to those from the Democratic Party (DP).

In June, the Green Party of St. Louis hosted a forum “The Green New Deal: Promise and Problems.” It led off with Ben Eisenberg of the Sunrise Movement describing his concerns with climate change and the extreme need for political groups to demand a switch to “100% clean, renewable energy” by 2030. Local Greens had coordinated an Extinction Rebellion protest at corporate Earth Day in April and realized the widespread appeal of the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez AOC approach.

Henry Robertson of the Missouri Green Party followed, criticizing the popular DP perspective that climate problems require “a massive, urgent response.” He emphasized the destructiveness of economic growth and concluded “massive is not the cure for massiveness.” Robertson pointed out that “steel can’t be mass-produced without fossil fuels” and insisted that the Earth has hit its limits, meaning that production must be cut back.

Howie Hawkins, who spoke next, was the first to run for office on a GND platform as the 2010 New York Green Party candidate. He said that his original US program for a GND seeks 100% renewable energy by 2030 along with the right to single-payer healthcare, a guaranteed job at a living wage and affordable housing. It would create 20 million jobs and end destructive extraction.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
Click on image to read excerpts

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase

Click on image to purchase @ FriesenPress