Volume 20, Number 12
Winter Soldier Campaign
Iraq veterans against the war -- Ivaw
Eighty and Still Protesting
Nut House Econ
Behind Burma's Repression
Nukes Are Back
Eleanor J. Bader
2 Book Reviews
U.S. & Eygpt
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Nukes Are Back and So Are We
Time after time the atomic energy industry has gone to the government to demand massive amounts of money. The most recent public gouging came during the great deregulation scam of 1999-2001. As Enron and its cronies contrived phony energy shortages and nearly bankrupted California, the atomic pushers went before state legislatures and asked for a massive bailout. They complained that with the coming age of deregulation (about two dozen states deregulated their electricity businesses), nuclear power plants were too expensive, inefficient, and obsolete to compete in the coming green age.
So they demanded—and got— more than $100 billion in “stranded cost” payouts. These were the ultimate admission that atomic power could not make it in the marketplace. As deregulation failed throughout the U.S., what Forbes magazine labeled “the largest managerial disaster in business history,” the atomic industry stayed alive as America’s ultimate welfare cheat.
After complaining about its old reactors’ lousy economic performance, the nuke industry now argues that the new ones will be magically transformed and that billions more should be spent building them. The first of those is already under construction in Finland. Ground was broken two years ago, but the project is two years behind schedule and $2 billion over budget. So a whole new cover story has been invented: nuke power will solve global warming.
The assertion is absurd. All reactors emit radioactive carbon, along with numerous other “hot” isotopes. Massive quantities of greenhouse gasses are spewed into the atmosphere during the mining, milling, and enrichment of uranium fuel. The reactors themselves emit huge plumes of heat directly into the air and water. Nukes perform poorly in hot weather, which is precisely when they’re supposed to help with global warming. Reactors in both France and the U.S. have been forced to shut because the rivers into which they dump their waste heat have exceeded 90 degrees Farenheit.
Still more greenhouse gasses have been created with the partial construction of the proposed Yucca Mountain waste dump in Nevada, which has already cost the public $11 billion. If it ever opens—it’s not yet licensed, and many say it never will be—Yucca could cost $60 to $100 billion. Even then it couldn’t handle the waste from the new reactors the industry wants to build—or even all the spent fuel from the old ones now in existence. Yet the industry wants Congress to give the industry essentially a blank check for loan guarantees to the tune of $25 billion in 2008 and $25 billion more in 2009, with countless billions more still to come down the road.
Why? Because Wall Street isn’t buying. After 50 years, nuke power is the most expensive technological failure in U.S. history. It can’t get investors, liability insurance, or a solution to its waste problem. It can’t compete with new conservation, efficiency, or renewables like wind power. Since 9/11, it’s obvious that atomic reactors cannot be defended from terror attack. They are pre-deployed weapons of radioactive mass destruction. It’s no accident that the push for new nukes with federal loan guarantees comes with a demand for extended federal liability insurance.
Despite all that, Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) slipped these loan guarantees into the 2007 Energy Bill that could become one of the most expensive and lethal rip-offs in U.S. history. Meanwhile, the renewable energy industry is soaring to new heights of power and profitability. Wind farming has boomed to a $10-15 billion per year industry, with worldwide growth rates surpassing 25 percent. Breakthroughs in silicon solar cells are taking rooftop photovoltaics (PV) to vastly increased levels of efficiency and profitability. Bio-fuels, tidal, geo- and ocean thermal wave energy, and many more rapidly developing forms of green power are also booming ahead.
In 1979 Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, and Graham Nash, through Musicians United for Safe Energy, helped organize five nights of No Nukes concerts at Madison Square Garden. The accompanying rally at Battery Park City drew 200,000 people. All of it was part of a successful grass-roots campaign to stop the nuke industry.
Browne, Nash, and Raitt are once again working to help stop this latest bailout. In singing Stephen Stills’s classic “For What It’s Worth,” they joined Ben Harper and Keb Mo for a video that’s linked through www. nukefree.org where a petition is being circulated and signed. On October 23 they presented the first round of petitions to Congress. In demanding the nuke subsidies be removed from an Energy Bill that contains many positive green features, they were joined by their fellow musician John Hall (D-NY) who is committed to shutting Indian Point.
They’ll also be working with one of the most successful non-violent grass-roots campaigns in U.S. history. Should they stop this latest atomic assault on the public treasury, the door could finally open for a truly green-powered future.
Harvey Wasserman is co-founder of Musicians United for Safe Energy and edits the nukefree.org website. His SOLAR- TOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth, AD 2030 is at www.solartopia.org.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.