START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Jul 24, 2007
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Various
Location: United States
by Ralph Nader
Here they go again. After thirty years without a firm order, the atomic power companies are pushing their radioactive, costly technology for a comeback on the backs of you the taxpayers.
The old argument in the Seventies was that nuclear powered electricity would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. With only three percent of our electricity coming from burning petroleum, the pro-nuke lobby is now jumping on the global warming bandwagon. Uranium, they argue, does not release greenhouse gases like coal or oil.
What nuclear lobbies ignore is all the coal and oil that needs to be burned to enrich uranium, to transport radioactive wastes with protective highway and rail convoys and provide security since they would be a priority target for sabotage.
Apart from that, let's start with the technological insanity of the nuclear fuel cycle-from uranium mines and their deadly tailings, to the refining and fabrication into fuel rods, to the multi-shielded dome-like nuclear plant, to the necessity for perfect operation of the facility, to the still unresolved problems of the location and containment of hot radioactive wastes and contaminated material for the next 200,000 years!
All this for one objective-to boil water into steam. A pretty complex chain of events in order to boil water. There are far better, cheaper ways to meet the electricity needs of today's generation without burdening future generations for centuries with the deadly waste products.
Back in the Seventies, before the public rose up and said no to nuclear power, helped by Wall Street's reluctance to finance these trouble-prone plants, the Atomic Energy Commission projected the construction of 1000 atomic power plants in the U.S. by the year 2000. There are today 103 plants.
Placing the predicted 100 plants up and down the California coastline would have been an act of peerless recklessness, especially given the earthquake faults.
Just this week, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Kashiwazaki, Japan and disabled a gigantic nuclear power plant which the New York Times reported, "raised new concerns about the safety of the nation's accident-plagued nuclear industry." It turns out that this plant, owned by Tokyo Electric Power, may be sitting directly above an earthquake fault line.
Each day, reports show damage greater than believed the day before, including radiation leaks, damage to exhaust ducts, burst pipes and other "malfunctions" beyond the fires. Several hundred barrels of radioactive waste were toppled.
The problem with nuclear power is that it gets one bite of the apple.
Just one major meltdown could provoke a demand to close the industry down by overwhelming adverse public outrage. You see, way back in the Fifties and Sixties, the Atomic Energy Commission, a booster-regulatory agency for atomic power plants, estimated that an "area the size of Pennsylvania" would be contaminated in such a disaster.
Remember, Chernobyl in Ukraine is still surrounded by vacant towns and villages following the 1986 tragedy. Radioactivity found its way as far as sheep in England, nuts grown in Turkey and elsewhere.
Do you know any other industry producing electricity that has to have specific evacuation plans for miles around it, is inherently a national security risk, cannot be privately insured without Congress mandating severe limited liability in case of massive casualties and requires massive taxpayer subsidies?
A most concise, authoritative case against the electric atom was recently released titled "Why a Future for the Nuclear Industry is Risky" by a group of environmental health and social investment groups. (See
In the introduction to the report, the case against nuclear energy was summarized this way: "Wind power and other renewable technologies, combined with energy efficiency, conservation and cogeneration can be much more cost effective and can be deployed much sooner than new nuclear power plants."
Yes indeed, efficiency or conservation, with a national mission, can cut in half the waste of energy, using currently available technology and know-how, before the first privately capitalized nuclear plant opens. One scientist once described the primary output of electric generating plants as "heating the heavens."
If this insensitive industry cannot be revived by Uncle Sam's tax treasury, Wall Street certainly has given no indication that private investment would take on the risk. Investment money is pouring presently into wind power, solar and other renewables and this is just the early springtime for these benign sources of energy.
The International Energy Agency sees a 25% cost reduction for wind power and a 50% cost reduction for solar photovoltaics from 2001 to 2020. Without Wall Street's private capital and with rising construction and operating costs in other countries, the prospect for nuclear power being competitive, even deducting decommissioning costs, and the many
millennia of waste storage costs, is not there.
Add a major accident and you'll see, in addition to casualties and contaminated land and property, every private investor running for cover while the bill is passed on to taxpayers.
Here is a suggestion to put the industry's propaganda to rest. Will any high nuclear industry executive debate physicist Amory Lovins at the National Press Club filled with electric company leaders? If so, please visit and contact Mr. Lovins.

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Posted: Jul 24, 2007 6:39am
Nov 21, 2006
The future of human evolution
If you ignore the annoying adverts (and I wish I could get rid of them - anything which obscures the text is BAD in my opinion) this article about future human evolution is interesting. It gives a number of possibilities.

1. Unihumans

Everbody on earth interbreeds and racial characteristics are averaged out. So we end up with average skin colour, an average kind of nose, and so on. I think this scenario ignores sexual selection completely, and so is totally unrealistic.

2. Survivalistians

So we all get into lifeboats and bail out from earth, or shack up in some bio-domes or otherwise adopt a survivalist mentality. If this happens you get speciation. Quelle surprise!

3. Numans (superhumans)

We start altering our own germline and end up looking like 1950s comic book heroes. Actually we're already doing this to some extent, by selecting out or terminating humans with defective genes such as downs syndrome or spinabiffida.

4. Cyborgians

Beginning with Kevin Warwick, we all keep implanting stuff into ourselves until we're only partly biological. Again, this is already happening and the trend is likely to continue.

5. Astrans

We all bail out of earth in our lifeboats and paddle off towards the stars. This doesn't really explain anything in terms of evolution other than, you guessed it, speciation will occur (gosh!).

Human evolution won't follow only a single path, and apart from (1) all the given scenarios are likely to occur to some extent. There's also one glaringly obvious option which is missing. The elephant in the room. Some humans will become not just cyborgs but entirely non-biological. The advantages of being non-biological are obvious, especially if you want to colonise space or other planets which may be extremely hostile environments for biological creatures. As a side note, the oversight of the possibility of non-biological life in current searches for extra-terrestrials is also somewhat obvious (organic chauvinism!).

Also, not all humans will live pleasantly together. Just like today, different types of human will disslike eachother and engage in fighting or occasionally genocidal wars. If racism today is bad, speciesism will be similar but worse.
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Posted: Nov 21, 2006 6:12am
Nov 16, 2006
McDonald's Paves The Way For Future Psychopaths
Presented by Matt on 04/06/00

You know, I thought the point of programs and media aimed towards little kids was to help mold them into sane, normal, good-willed members of society. Not raving lunatics. McDonalds feels differently. They hope to warp our nation's youth with visions of the most ridiculous, evil sons'a'bitches you've ever seen. Understanding the characters of McDonalds fame was a nigh-impossibility. They were too fucking odd.

Take Ronald McDonald, for example. The leader. The big cheese. Now, my parents used to yell at me while I was in high school cuz I dressed a little freaky. With a role model like that, how can I be blamed? Ronald was free to roam about society in a fucking clown suit. My parents would buy me happy meals and Ronald McDonald pillow cases. I thought I was doing the right thing. Ronald is teaching the children of this nation to dress like clowns. Kids aren't dyeing their hair pillarbox red and wearing giant red boots because of Marlyn Manson, folks. It's all this fucking clown's fault.

Moving down the ladder, we have Birdie. Now, explain this one to me. Look at her fucking eyes! I've seen less dilation at a squat house. Birdie's obviously hooked on drugs, and her alarmingly high-pitched voice suggests a few 'whippits' on the side. At least Ronald is only telling your children to dress in a way that'll make the jocks and bullies beat them up. Birdie wants your kids to be drug addicts.

Then we have Grimace. What the fuck IS Grimace? Is it a gumdrop? Top of a dick? What?! Grimace is the most esoteric character in history. His name dictates frustration and sadness, yet he's always cheerful. I'd really hate to sit next to this guy at a funeral. He's always smiling and giggling. It'd be really embarassing. And what food was he supposed to represent? The milkshake I guess. Notice how Grimace supports one of the fattiest things on the menu, and he also happens to be the fattest guy on the cast. Yet, he's always smiling and no one seems to care that poor Grimace is *grossly* overweight. That's unhealthy. So while Ronald dresses your kids like pansies and Birdie drops some PCP in their milkshakes, Grimace will make sure they're nice and fat.

The Fry Guys. AKA the McDonalds equivalent of 'special' children. There's nothing stranger than a bunch of pom-poms on rollerskates. There's also no way to explain the significance of it in regard to french fries. Oddly, in the commercials these guys would always disguise themselves as bushes. Very convincing, considering that none of them were green. Oddly, the Fry Guys were the most normal of the whole McDonalds crew.

Next up we have the Chicken McNuggets. No fancy names. These were Chicken McNuggets. Now, understand that Ronald was friends with these guys. And Ronald was telling us all to EAT Chicken McNuggets. Yet, somehow, the 'Nuggets didn't seem to mind. There were commercials of these misguided souls jumping into pools of BBQ sauce, happily prepping themselves for their impending doom. Hidden meaning? Suicide. The McNuggets were McDonalds way of telling you...'hey, if you get dealt a bad hand...cover yourself in sweet'n'sour, pull out a shotgun, and blow your fucking head off'.

Last but not least, we have the most surreal and all-around evil of the characters...The Hamburgler. Firstly, the only thing the fuck can say is 'Robble Robble'. But really fast. Last week I got a tape recorder out and slowed it down..turns out he's actually saying 'Rob & Kill'. Awesome lesson for the kiddies. And what's with his gear? He's like an asshole version of Zorro. But instead of carving a 'Z' on your chest, he'd annoy you by running around like a raving derelict on crack, trying to steal your hamburgers. Sweet.

In closing...parents, keep an eye out on what your kids are watching. Power Rangers and pro-wrestling aren't gonna fuck them up. It's these clowns that are turning our nation's future leaders into crazed lunatics with poor outfits, misinterpreted society roles, and an all-around bad attitude.McDonalds: Beware.

- Matt
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Posted: Nov 16, 2006 3:55am


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