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The True Costs of Nuclear Power


Environment  (tags: animals, cancer, climate-change, conservation, ecosystems, environment, globalwarming, greenhousegases, habitatdestruction, healthconditions, humans, iodine 131, nature, Nuclear power, politics, pollution, radia-active, research, science )

Kit
- 3017 days ago - slate.com
Three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station appear to have lost their cooling capacity. Engineers are flooding the plant with seawater--effectively destroying it--then letting off radioactive steam.



   

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Kit B (276)
Monday March 14, 2011, 6:14 pm
The True Costs of Nuclear Power

If the Japanese can't build a completely safe nuclear reactor, who can?

In the aftermath of a disaster, the strengths of any society become immediately visible. The cohesiveness, resilience, technological brilliance, and extraordinary competence of the Japanese are now on full display. One report from Rikuzentakata—a town of 25,000, annihilated by the tsunami—describes volunteer firefighters working to clear rubble and search for survivors; military personnel and police efficiently directing traffic and supplies; survivors not only "calm and pragmatic" but coping "with politeness and sometimes amazingly good cheer."

Thanks to these strengths, Japan will eventually recover. But at least one Japanese nuclear power complex will not. As I write, three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station appear to have lost their cooling capacity. Engineers are flooding the plant with seawater—effectively destroying it—then letting off radioactive steam. There have been two explosions. By the time you read this article, the situation may be worse.

Yet Japan's nuclear power stations were designed with the same care and precision as everything else in the country. More to the point, Japan is the only country in the world to have experienced true nuclear catastrophe. They had an incentive to build well, in other words, as well as the capability, the laws, and regulations to do so. Which leads to the unavoidable question: If the competent and technologically brilliant Japanese can't build a completely safe reactor, who can?


It can be argued—and it will be—that the Japanese situation is extraordinary. Few countries are as vulnerable to natural catastrophe as Japan, and the scale of this earthquake is unprecedented. But there are other kinds of extraordinary situations and other unprecedented circumstances. In an attempt to counter the latest worst possible scenarios, a Franco-German company began constructing a supersafe, "next-generation" nuclear reactor in Finland several years ago. The plant was designed to withstand the impact of an airplane—a post-9/11 concern—and includes a chamber allegedly able to contain a core meltdown. But it was also meant to cost $4 billion and to be completed in 2009. Instead, it has had uncounted setbacks, may now cost $6 billion or more, and isn't finished yet.

Ironically, the Finnish plant was meant to launch the renaissance of the nuclear power industry in Europe—an industry that has lately enjoyed a renaissance around the world, thanks almost entirely to fears about climate change. Nuclear plants emit no carbon. As a result, after a long post-Chernobyl lull, nuclear plants have lately become fashionable again. Some 62 new nuclear reactors are under construction at the moment; a further 158 are being planned, and another 324 have been proposed.

Increasingly, nuclear power is also promoted because it is safe. Which it is—except, of course, when it is not. The chances of a major disaster are tiny, 1-in-100 million. But in the event of a statistically improbable major disaster, the damage could include, say, the destruction of a city or the poisoning of a country. The cost of such a potential catastrophe is partly reflected in the price of plant construction and partly explains the cost overruns in Finland: Nobody can risk the tiniest flaw in the concrete or the most minimal reduction in the quality of the steel.

But as we are about to learn in Japan, the true costs of nuclear power are never reflected even in the very large price of plant construction. Inevitably, the enormous costs of nuclear waste disposal fall to taxpayers, not the nuclear industry. The costs of cleanup, even in the wake of a relatively small accident, are eventually borne by the government. The costs of health care will also be paid by society at large, one way or another. If there is true nuclear catastrophe in Japan, the entire world will pay the price.

I hope that this never happens. I feel nothing but admiration for the Japanese nuclear engineers who have been battling catastrophe for several days now. If anyone can prevent a disaster, the Japanese can do it. But I also hope that a near-miss causes people around the world to think twice about the true "price" of nuclear energy and stops the nuclear renaissance dead in its tracks.

By Anne Applebaum for Slate
 

Kit B (276)
Monday March 14, 2011, 6:17 pm

Just what is in that steam leaking from the Nuclear power plant? The dangers in the steam leaking from the Japanese reactor are iodine-131, cesium-137, xenon-133, xenon-135, and krypton-85. (Often elements have many different varieties of isotope, some more stable than others. The number after the element name identifies the specific isotope.)

Of these, the most troubling is iodine-131, which can be absorbed by the thyroid when inhaled, causing thyroid cancer and leukemia. Gases like krypton-85 and xenon-133 don't interact with bones or tissue, but since they are highly unstable, they decay in bursts of radiation that can prove harmful to other bodily systems.

But hey not to worry, it's a rare chance that all of those nuclear plants in the US built on fault lines will have problems - or is it?
 

Trish K (93)
Monday March 14, 2011, 7:23 pm
There is no such thing as Safe nuclear plants. The radioactive drift should hit the west coast in a week so stock up on iodine tablets ya'll. Those plants were well built and the cores were well surrounded in vaults. They were prepared for the earthquake but not the tsunami. There needs to be a department of immediate control somewhere ( designated deciders ). When something like this happens and everyone goes into shock and the world goes into slow motion just like a car accident, someone needs to step forward immediately to put people to work all over the world in charge of clean up, food, water, blankets, doctors, dogs etc. Every country or state needs a designated decider. The people in Japan are still in shock day 5.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday March 14, 2011, 7:27 pm
Noted and thanks Kit .
Your absolutely right to say if Japan can't build a safe nuclear reactor who can ? They have been the leaders in technology and even they can't do it .
There are far too many factors that make these nuclear plants unsafe Japan showed us two and then there is also that threat of terrorism . I for one don't want to see any more nuclear plants built in this country . The only reason this country has not gone to solar and wind and other clean technology is because they can't make the kind of money they can on nuclear ,oil,coal and gas. They wouldn't have a good excuse to charge us high prices ,they can't say ,,oh the price is going up because of a war or a hurricane or some other BS they give us now when they raise the cost .
 

Past Member (0)
Monday March 14, 2011, 7:28 pm
Noted, thanks Kit. Krypton!?...does that mean that even Superman is not safe? Agree with Trish....no such animal as a safe nukes.
 

Kathy B (106)
Monday March 14, 2011, 7:29 pm
Like the article says, more can happen - the news reported a 4th reactor having problems. I take issue with the fact she says nuclear power is clean. It can never be clean - the materials have to be mined. They seem to be unwilling or unable to clean up mining.
 

Helen Avila (166)
Monday March 14, 2011, 7:33 pm
Thank you Kit. I watched Rachel Maddow tonight, she explained it so well. Had Concerned Scientists (a group you should join if you have not already) on talking about it.. I watch with a pit in my stomach for all those beautiful people of Japan... There is also a history of the Japanese lying to their people about the number of accidents they have had. I think every single politician who wants nuclear power should be required to have 3 - 4 barrels of nuclear waste encased in their yard.. and they can never move from the spot as they will have to guard it, as will their children grandchildren great grandchildren, great great and on and on... they will doom their progeny
 

Terry King (113)
Monday March 14, 2011, 7:40 pm
I'm no particular fan of nuclear power but compared to the coal fired electrical production used in the United States it has been comparatively harmless! Even these tsunami damaged reactors are putting out less poison than the average coal fired plant not to mention the environmental and public health issues from mining coal! Speaking only for myself, I would rather live next door to a nuclear power plant than a coal fired one!
 

Kit B (276)
Monday March 14, 2011, 7:44 pm

Yes, Helen I am a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists - in more ways then one. Well Terry I don't think it must be an either or - isn't that just giving in to limited choices provided by the government? Alternatives!
 

Sir Walk F (124)
Monday March 14, 2011, 7:49 pm
We will continue promote unsustainable forms of power until we admit we use too much energy. Period. There are no easy solutions, no green fix-all.

We must consume less.
 

Gloria H (88)
Monday March 14, 2011, 7:56 pm
If these things blow, we can get drift over to California, etc. Signs in Health food store here in Southern Oregon- they have run out of iodine ( used to combat radiation sickness).
Fault lines criss cross the U.S. There is one smack in the middle. I don't believe a word about nuke plants being safe. We are so worried about terrorists and plane bombs, what about nuke plants with or without some human fiddling with sabotage? Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska are big fault lines. I'd rather take my chances with mother nature than man made stupidity.
 

Terry King (113)
Monday March 14, 2011, 7:58 pm
I'm just trying to add some perspective. I agree that there are much better alternatives but people who rail against nuclear power while consuming coal produced power are not being intellectually honest!
 

Trish K (93)
Monday March 14, 2011, 8:11 pm
Hydro, geo thermal, solar and wind are a few sustainable energy sources. We must insist on rapid transit and get rid of these dinosaurs crossing our praries and plains. Who are we afraid of ? We are the boss. I don't want my tax money spent Fracking this planet to death. I don't want nuclear power plants or coal in my state.
Think outside the box. Spring is almost here and it is beautiful in D.C. for carrying signs and making a general nusiance of ourselves. I think I will start local to root out Scott Brown and here I am off topic. No Nukes and bless those in Japan trying to shut those plants down. Good post Kit.
 

Kathy B (106)
Monday March 14, 2011, 8:23 pm
Maybe I'm one of the lucky few. There is one coal fired plant left in Washington state (which produces 3% of our power) and I believe our governor just managed a deal to have that closed by 2020.
 

Barbara W (342)
Monday March 14, 2011, 8:39 pm
Put this out recently .
President Obama you're being had if you have no idea how dangerous America's nuclear facilities are. The private sector is doing what they do best. Hands out to collect great sums of tax dollars but are not taking care of safety nor maintenance issues. . The latest here at the dangerous NM Los Alamos facility is to make Triggers for those Weapons of Mass Destruction that we say were backing off of and, it's going to cost somewhere in that billions mark. You know? That money "WE" don't have..

And guess what President Obama? The new building is to be built on unstable ground that the powers to be are going to fill in and, this is the good part, when asked about earth quake safety. Reluctantly, the person in charge of that small detail said, it will withstand a 7.0, Then he ducked down in his chair and asked one of his cronies, "Who" was that?

Hello?? Now doesn't that make you feel all fuzzy and cozy. The whistle blower that we're in touch with said that he tried everything open to him to get the word out for several years now. Even did the Dan rather show before Rather was FIRED! And all you Washington fellers don't seem to care much about this LOOMING possibility.. WHY NOT? I DO! Barbara/founder/dtdn.net

check out the welds. Scary stuff.. They do not use certified welders. The whistle blower said that they bring in cheap labor and give them a quick course in welding..
http://www.thebridgetonowhere.org/nuclear.htm
 

Barbara W (342)
Monday March 14, 2011, 8:48 pm
Another thing! The world cannot afford to lose all that fresh water these plants need to keep reactors cooled down. We are long overdue to use Solar, Wind, Sun and even the ocean waves can be used to generate power..Oil companies and those who make out like bandits manipulating the whole industry, gas prices, food, etc, need to be put on notice! I am so with you KIT! Enough! We're running out of time.. The games these fools have been playing with our lives and the lives of our loved ones has worn thin..
 

Barbara W (342)
Monday March 14, 2011, 8:49 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last week.
 

Yvonne White (229)
Monday March 14, 2011, 10:36 pm
The billions "invested" in nuclear plants is somehow Lost once the plant is done - these plants don't run continually, or even daily.. at least not in IL., and WE still have to pay premium prices for that magically delicious Energy (which can't be stored or really transported)! It is not Tesla's Free energy (the crazy Commie!;) - it's the Dark Side's energy. And just as dangerous as coal-fired, in totally different ways..
But RepubliCONs can't stand letting the poor have free wind or solar power, so we're just screwed until we can get Beck & OReilly to do a remote stand-up report from Japan!;)
 

Daniel Meritt (22)
Monday March 14, 2011, 11:39 pm
"But there are other kinds of extraordinary situations and other unprecedented circumstances. In an attempt to counter the latest worst possible scenarios, a Franco-German company began constructing a supersafe, "next-generation" nuclear reactor in Finland several years ago. The plant was designed to withstand the impact of an airplane—a post-9/11 concern—and includes a chamber allegedly able to contain a core meltdown"

I think there are many kinds of terrorist attack that are very dangerous to a nuclear reactor. Malicious employees, e.g. a suicide attack by an employee that is secretly a member of a terrorist organization. That's something that no amount of steel and concrete can protect against.

It's not enough to design it to withstand any conceivable threat, it's the inconceivable that's the most dangerous.
 

greenplanet e (155)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 1:16 am
The earth is too unstable for nuclear power.
 

AWAY AWHILE Cal Mendelsohn (1065)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 4:13 am
What I call Japan's rolling disaster (earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown) shows that citizens of the vulnerable areas of the world to this type of phenomenon,especially the western coast of the US and Canada must eliminate the nuclear threat and shut down facilities that are similarly vulnerable to what's now unfolding in Japan. In Japan's case, geography even magnifies the effect,as I just heard that radiation just outside of Tokyo, which is over 160 miles from the earthquake zone, is about 10 times normal levels. Thanks for your post Kit!
 

patricia lasek (317)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 5:09 am
I hope everyone signed the petition to the Japanes bank asking them not to lend the US mega-bucks to build new nuclear plants.
 

Kit B (276)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 5:09 am

Great comments and I have to wonder if any one is really safe. One of the more curious points about nuclear power that people rarely discussion is the point by Yvonne. They cost billions to build and cost us more in daily use, then spend far too much time "down" to be the only source of power for an area. The answer seems to be to build more, and the public at large seems okay with that. Our electric power then is more expensive, there greater chances of catastrophe the more that are built. Each plant that I read about had many construction problems, and needed "patching" once built. Then there is the fact that many are built on fault lines, our one choice of a storage facility is currently Yucca Mountain which is also on fault. It seems a deadly game we are playing. Does any one smell big profits in this?
 

Kit B (276)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 5:12 am

Patricia, the Japanese are contracted to build our new plants. Yes, I have signed, but this is big money contracts and I doubt that petitions alone will stop the construction plans. Obama is strongly supportive of this plan to build nuclear power plants all over the country.
 

Bon L (0)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 6:20 am
Thanks for the info.
 

Melissah C (389)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 6:37 am
thanks
 

Patricia Geller (34)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 8:26 am
Noted, thanks.
 

patricia lasek (317)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 8:58 am
I know, but I keep hoping maybe this will change some minds.
 

Brittany D (28)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 9:00 am
Nuclear is better than burning coal. In many places alternatives are not good options because the conditions just don't exist for them.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 9:29 am
All technology carries risks. Should we abandon electricity because of all the people who die from electrocution every year? Despite the fact that obesity is the number one health crisis in the U.S., very few people are getting on board with the President to tax junk food. The number of people who would favor banning it outright is quite small. The simple reality is that newer nuclear facilities are safer than older facilities. Reactors in the future will be even safer. However, the risk of a disaster, whether from human error or natural calamity, will always exist. Nonetheless, if humanity is going to survive the next few centuries, it will need the power that nuclear energy supplies. I don't like the idea much better than anyone else, but the consequences of not pursuing nuclear power will be far worse.
 

Sir Walk F (124)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 9:32 am
@Terry--"people who rail against nuclear power while consuming coal produced power are not being intellectually honest! "

The vast majority of the US grid is supplied by coal. It's not like people have a real choice in the matter, except for the very small portion lucky enough to live 100% off grid (a luxury, to be sure).

To claim that someone can't point out that nuclear is obviously dangerous because they are plugged into the grid is ridiculous.


@Brittany--How is it 'better'?
 

Sir Walk F (124)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 9:34 am
@Brian M- "if humanity is going to survive the next few centuries, it will need the power that nuclear energy supplies."

Wow, humanity wont survive without ipods and laptops? Give it a rest. Nuclear is NOT 'safe', as continues to be demonstrated.
 

Sir Walk F (124)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 12:23 pm
Thomas, while I agree with you, it would be crazy to pretend that wouldn't be political suicide for anyone who even tried.
 

Kit B (276)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 12:27 pm

I sure would like to see some(politically) suicidial representatives in the House and Senate, who knows may be doing the right thing for the people would give them fresh new life.
 

Robert Tomlinson (62)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 12:40 pm
Kit, Amen and Amen! Thanks for the post.
 

Peggy Peters (29)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 1:21 pm
Humans "in charge" never learn!
Nuclear power is very unstable and certainly NOT SAFE!!!!
Good post!
 

Roger G (148)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 1:58 pm
yes it is possible to build a safe nuclear plant, Areva has done it for sixty years... but not in a country which is known to have daily earthquakes and many tsunamis !
 

Alice C (1797)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 3:35 pm
There is no such thing as safe nuclear plants...and no way to safely get rid of the nuclear waste they produce...It was that way 30 years ago and remains the same.
 

Kathy B (106)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 3:54 pm
Please read "The world can be powered by alternative energy". Yes, it will take 20 - 40 years, BUT think of where we would be today if we'd already begun.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2011/january/jacobson-world-energy-012611.html
 

Barbara Erdman (63)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 9:40 pm
noted and thanx Kit
 

Patricia Geller (34)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 10:12 pm
Perhaps this will push us further into natural energy faster than the track we were on.
 

Penelope P (222)
Tuesday March 15, 2011, 11:14 pm
One of the best arguments I have encountered against nuclear power is that it takes too much capital to build and one never recoups that capital even with large inputs from government the lifespan of a nuclear facility is too small.

Another problem with nuclearis of course the waste problem and the disposal of stuff that is dangerous for umpteen thousand years to come.

This incident merely illustrates the most major problem with anything technological-human incompetasnce and lack of imagination-bye the bye-general electric is apparently implicated in this onelook search that on Care2 search),there is an article here on Care2.
QUOTE
There are 104 nuclear reactors across the U.S. – 35 of which are boiling-water reactors
of a similar design to the troubled models in Japan – and policymakers such as Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey are now questioning their safety.

Even if you get away from the safety issue, which is obviously front and centre right now because of what's happening in Japan, and you look at solutions
to climate change, then nuclear energy takes way too long to build, reactors take years to come online, they're wildly expensive. Most of the burden of the cost will fall on the U.S. taxpayer in this country, so why go there?" she said.

"And the possibility of it going radically wrong, the outcome is so awful that morally you can't justify it," she added. "The reliability of nuclear power is practically zero in an emergency when you have this confluence of natural disasters."


That tsunami got me thinking
Wish I knew how Tsunamis and earthquakes and global warming connect-Have you ever tried slowly cooling something down then suddenly heating it up then evenmore suddeny freezing it-that is while you are cookingeg an apple.
Have a look what happens on the surface-now transpose to earth=apple'heat= global warming sudden last cooling =melting ice at both poles translating into change of temperature of important currents and the direction they go in-Who know I certainly do not however do suspect that there could besomething interesting in this.

In any case watching the tsunami engulf mile after mile of Japan swallowing whole fields and villages and houses as far as the eye could see as it relentlessly moved on -could not help thinking that if one put this in slower motion might get something analagous to what is going to happen to us if we do not address global warming
 

Kit B (276)
Wednesday March 16, 2011, 6:45 am

Roger, the company Areva was founded in 2001, unless my math is off that is not 60 years.
 

Sir Walk F (124)
Wednesday March 16, 2011, 1:34 pm
Yeah, Kit, nuclear power itself has only been around for 57 years. I wonder what Roger meant?

-I saw an interesting article the other day about the terrible record this specific Japanese plant has. Leaders have been forced to step down in the past for covering up safety data, and it is VERY likely that this current issue at the plant was exacerbated by them trying to cover it up as well. They are reporting that the Plant manager sdidnt contact the government about the first explosion for TWO HOURS!
 

Andy T (4)
Wednesday March 16, 2011, 3:46 pm
Good to see that if the Japanese can't do it no one can. Therefore give up and try something else like wind, sun and waves. Trouble is people this isn't, can't be and will never be enough for the world population which, in case no one noticed is still growing. Further the aspirations outside the G7 are for lifestyles consistent with those who live in that group (a lot of people on this forum for example) creating an ever greater need for energy. Nuclear power is with us and will stay with us for the foreseeable future. Are there mistakes, yes, are these fatal, yes, are there natural catastrophies which make things worse, yes again. If we don't accept that we have to continue to try and develop safe nuclear power however then we will go back to using more fossil fuels, burning rain forests, poluting our seas and skys and depleting our natural resources with all that that entails. I would love to see an end to nuclear proliferation but it ain't gonna hapen so the sooner we accept and apply the best minds to safe nuclear development and learn the lessons of the past for cleaner,safer, more cost effective nuclear power the better. Otherwise who on here accepts that we will continue to burn coal, wood, oil, etc. to generate the power to communicate environmentally aware messages?
 

Steve Howard (45)
Wednesday March 16, 2011, 7:47 pm
To Andy and others saying we must use it:

Why don't you consider the human race actually growing up and becoming responsible adults. Our society is like a bunch of spoiled little 2 year olds. If we actually were mature we wouldn't buy so much crap and we would reduce, reuse and recycle. Once we do that combined with energy produced from solar and wind becoming more and more efficient we will be on a safer and cleaner path. You are assuming people will remain selfish and continue their immature and shallow "I have more stuff than you have" behavior and Earth can't sustain us if we stay that way no matter what form of power we use.

We need to grow up. Staying the same and using nuclear power solves nothing and we would still be "burning rain forests, poluting our seas and skys and depleting our natural resources with all that that entails".........as Andy said in his argument for nuclear power implying these things will stop if we do use nuclear power.

As for the idea of safer nuclear power, what about the waste? What about human error? What about corrupt inspectors? What about lying to pass inspections? What about all that? Will all that magically go away just because some of you say we need it?

Grow up.

And while you're growing up, try reading this below:

This from

 

Steve Howard (45)
Wednesday March 16, 2011, 7:49 pm
This from

 

Steve Howard (45)
Wednesday March 16, 2011, 7:51 pm
Try that again,

This from

http://www.nirs.org/
if you go there much of this is linked.

"There are currently 23 General Electric Mark I reactors in the U.S.--the design that exploded at Fukushima. A top Atomic Energy Commission official first proposed banning this design nearly 40 years ago. List/fact sheet. Updated, includes license renewal information.

Three critical Atomic Energy Commission memos on the GE Mark I reactor design:

November 11, 1971: outlines problems with the design and pressure suppression system containment.

September 20, 1971: memo from Steven Hanauer recommends that U.S. stop licensing reactors using pressure suppression system

September 25, 1972: memo from Joseph Hendrie (top safety official at AEC) agrees with recommendation but rejects it saying it "could well mean the end of nuclear power..."
 

Daniel Meritt (22)
Thursday March 17, 2011, 3:31 pm
NotSilentSpeakTheTruth is right:
"If we actually were mature we wouldn't buy so much crap and we would reduce, reuse and recycle."

Every kind of energy has its drawbacks.
Nuclear: safety, where to leave the waste
Fossil fuels: global warming, environment, e.g. BP/transocean rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico
Hydro energy: changes natural environment
Biomass/biofuel: air pollution (although CO2 neutral)
Windmills: visual pollution (blocks the view), birds can be struck by fast moving rotorblades
Solar: visual pollution (blocks the view)
Tidal & wave energy: blocks shipping lanes
This list is not exhaustive, I probably left some out or forgot some drawbacks.

When we reduce our energy use, we will have less of these drawbacks. Furthermore, carefully choosing our energy sources will have a significant effect on our planet, and our children's planet.
 

Andy T (4)
Thursday March 17, 2011, 3:56 pm
To Not Silent Speak the Truth. Your message is totally misguided. That I buy into reduce, reuse, recyle isn't an issue. Neither I suspect is it an issue for most on this website. However the big issue is that people in China, Latin America, India, Asia, large parts of Eastern Europe,yada,yada, yada want to grow up JUST LIKE US! And have the things we take for granted: 24 hour light & power, running water, the ability to get on a plane, get in a car, the ability to live in a house with unlimited consumer posibilities, JUST LIKE US!. A large number of those people who want those things don't even have access to a computer let alone post on websites. Having a pop by pointing me or anyone else in the direction of papers produced in the G7 is just plain naive. And if you can't see that try a dose of CNN on the subject of Libya, Egypt, or maybe look across the water to Cuba. Tell them they can't have what we now have (and as you so rightly alude to abuse) and see how long it lasts.

I would strongly recommend you take a step back from your idealistic, intelectualised stance and try and understand what those who do not have our advantages want and, ultimately, will fight for and get.

I repeat I would love to see an end to nuclear proliferation and I know what we have is bloody dangerous but it ain't gonna stop in my lifetime so the objective can only be to make it as safe as humanly possible.

The alternative of course is that stuff is developed on the cheap that isn't even as safe as the the installations in existance in the US or UK let alone Japan. Then my friend, when that goes wrong, we are all in the shit.
 

Steve Howard (45)
Thursday March 17, 2011, 8:14 pm

You seem to be overlooking the obvious core problem which is consumerism and the pushing of it into every corner of the world through advertising which is meant to change the viewer from an individual into a consumer and nothing but a consumer, making people who have low self esteem and "need" all the stuff they can possibly buy to make themselves feel better even though it doesn't make anyone feel better because they have to just keep buying junk just like an addict.

Just because the US and multinational corporations want to do that for profit and control does NOT mean it is set in stone and it does not mean it's right or that we should tolerate it and through that end up supporting it.

Plenty of people claimed they thought slavery and tons of other evils "ain't gonna stop" in their lifetime so their objective could only be to make it as safe as or invisible or accepted or as justified as possible.

It's not just running water they want Andy, it's a tv the size of a wall and an suv and an ipad and nikes and a million other completely useless things that are part of this disposable joke of a society we are inside of. Don't equate necessities with excess for that's what has gotten us to where we are today, a bunch of drooling consumers that live for "stuff" and don't care one iota about anyone or anything else.

Change can happen and change can come rapidly but not when someone has it in their mind/heart/soul that it won't happen in their lifetime.
 

Carol H (229)
Sunday March 20, 2011, 5:21 am
thank you Kit, noted
 
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