The Struggle for Power (nuclear) What we Haven't Been Told and Why!
The Struggle for Power
What we Haven't Been Told and Why!
The real issues behind the uranium and nuclear argument, viewed both internationally and nationally.
Published by E J Dwyer, Surry Hills, 1980
THE ANTI-ENERGY MOVEMENT
How it began with the nuclear bomb test bans – movements in Australia – the “no-growth” attitude – mining, profits and perspective – how are scientists divided? – the three nuclear engineers – the distinguished scientists – the Fox and Parker reports – irresponsible films – lessons from inquiries.
How it Began.
Fall-out – nuclear test ban – 1961 Bodega Head – Sierra Club – Escalation – Increased sophistication – politico-social – Ralph Nader & Rockefeller – the churches among the first targets – churches avoid facts and accept false dogma – world dissemination – organised anti-nuclear church groups – minority control – political control – motives – violence – “Quaker” teaches Australians civil disobedience – American government supports activists – who is behind it? – international scene 1978-79 – international bureaucracy – manipulating media
The anti-nuclear movement started while American and Russian bomb tests were dispersing tons of plutonium into the atmosphere. Not surprisingly many scientists regarded this as a Bad Thing and their opposition led to the 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
That was not a problem for the development of nuclear power, however in the 1970s the US created 20,000 government employees dedicated to improving the environment and the nuclear energy industry soon ran into trouble. Urban sites were not favoured and remote sites with adequate water for cooling tended to be located in the dwindling number of unspoiled recreational areas. Concern for the environmental impact of “thermal pollution" provided the rationale for a lot of objections to NP stations, supported by fear campaigns about the dangers of radiation. The “Sierra Club” became an early opponent of NP, possibly the most influential single political-environmental group in the nation due to its wealthy and well-connected membership, its budget was three million dollars in 1977.
Two sensationalized books by Barry Commoner, The Careless Atom and Perils of the Peaceful Atom represented the start of the all-out anti-NP campaign. Dr. John Gofman and a colleague in the radiation and human health program at the Atomic Energy Commission created a sensation with the claim that if the U.S. population were exposed to radiation at the levels considered "acceptable" in federal radiation guidance, approximately 16,000 people would die annually from cancers induced by the radiation exposure. On some occasions they used the figure of 32,000. The claims were demolished by other professionals but they barnstormed across the country generating headlines and their predictions kept turning up over the years in the publications of anti-nuclear activists and the reports of journalists who did not do their homework.
In 1971 Ralph Nader, bankrolled by the Rockefeller network, began to work with a lawyer Anthony Roisman and the “Union of Concerned Scientists” to combine the efforts of environmental groups and public interest lawyers against NP. They worked on several fronts:
Legal action delay projects.
Lobbying Congress and Government agencies.
Propagandising the churches
Advertising directed at the general public
Exaggerated dangers and innuendos of industry incompetence were widely accepted as fact. The industry had no strategy for self-defence, being in the business of NP, not propaganda, and became “an 80 billion dollar underdog”.
“To cut a long story short, thanks to Ralph Nader’s initiative, there exists a well co-ordinated coalition of interest groups in the USA with all the attributes of a major corporation: well planned, influential, with strong political and financial support, well-tested strategies, professional communication expertise and tremendous legal punch. About 600 full-time “environmental lawyers” operated on a budget of at least 45 million dollars in 1977 and about one-third of this was spent purely on energy-stopping.
The major agencies involved in this effort were Consolidated Intervenors, doing legal activities to impede developments; the Union of Concerned Scientists, mostly funded by Dr Henry Kendall of MIT; Business and Professional People for the Public Interest in Washington to front Government committees and inquiries; Friends of the Earth co-ordinating environmental groups and disseminating information by advertising, books and pamphlets; Environmental Action, National Intervenors and The Public Media Centre dealing with publications and presentations.
“The latest political movement is Mobilization for Survival which in mid-1978 was the spearhead of the demonstrations across the USA. It describes itself as a coalition of 250 groups, distributed across the length and breadth of the US”
In addition to the activities that they funded, their received an immense amount of prime time media coverage free of charge, while the NP industry enjoyed no such support.
The role of the churches
“A division of the American National Council of Churches declared plutonium morally dubious and called for a moratorium on its use. This bizarre intrusion of theology into science was explained on the grounds that scientists were “split down the middle” and therefore the theological community should have the casting vote”.
That path was taken on advice from a committee of inquiry of 21 people (selected by the anthropologist Margaret Mead) consisting of 11 who had previously published papers opposing NP and 10 clergymen and lawyers. None of the 21 could claim expertise in the field of nuclear energy or plutonium.
It is claimed that this advice, distributed through the network of churches, impressed a Southern Baptist, President Jimmy Carter and his advisors. The Council of Churches distributed a paper “Ethical Implications of Energy Production and Use” which depicted the threat of nuclear waste in the language that has become familiar in recent times – “the welfare of future generations” and “horrendous” and “catastrophic” dangers despite the fact that wastes had been managed for 30 years without harm to anyone.
Church Anti-Nuclear Ads
According to Grover, in 1978 the political religious group based in New York, City Clergy and Laity Concerned (CALC) distributed packages of anti-nuclear materials to churches across the nation:
A pastoral letter
Suggestions for organizing local churches under the anti-NP banner
The CALC coordinators were Rick Boardman and Don Luce (a public supporter of the communist “re-education camps” in Vietnam). CALC’s leaders frequently met with the Vietnamese communists in Paris and Hanoi. CALC described its aims thus:
"What we’re about today is not simply and end to the war in Vietnam but a struggle against American imperialism in just about every corner of the world…and..to help liberate our own nation from its reactionary and exploitative policies."
Grover reported that there did not seem to be any protest at the anti-nuclear prayers and liturgies.
Church propaganda in Australia
The World Council of Churches helped to orchestrate and echo the anti-NP message through churches in Australia (clearly not such an effective way of reaching the masses in Australia due to lower church attendance than the US, but still very influential).
Anti-nuclear propaganda in cartoon form was distributed to NT Aboriginals from the Uniting Church prior to the 1977 elections, followed by an official denial of responsibility, followed in 1978 by the same material, this time with the authority of the Church.
Grover commented wryly that “Those who opposed railways because they would stop cows from giving milk and because human beings could not endure speeds of more than 30 mph were no less sincere”.
Grover noted, on the bright side, that the Quakers in London produced a pamphlet which revealed scientific literacy and good sense.
"We would remind Friends that whether we like it or not we live in a society that relies on technology for the sustenance of life and with world population at its present levels our technology cannot be abandoned without risk of major disaster".
On NP, the pamphlet stated that this form of power, like all others, had to be handled with care but could not be lightly cast aside. That was very temperate language, clearly bending over backwards to avoid the mood of strident urgency that animated the anti-NP pamphlets.
Investigations revealed that even the large anti-NP organizations were in the hands of very few individuals. The Union of Concerned Scientists was controlled by 10 to 20 people, the Environemntal Action group claimed 8000 members but policy was decided by 8 or 10.The Citizens Association for Safe Energy had 2500 addresses on its mailing list but policy was drafted, adopted and circulated by a board of 3. The deliberated proliferation of anti-NP groups was an acknowledged tactic to inflate the apparent level of popular support (see the number of groups in Australia described in Section 9.2).
The same applies to attendance at demonstrations. On May Day 1977 in New Hampshire only 15% of the people arrested at a disruptive march came from that state. The Hiroshima Day demonstrations in 1978 and 1979 were held in Sydney on Saturday and Melbourne on Sunday, with the planes booked out between Sydney and Melbourne to carry protestors. As we speak, “ferals” on welfare roam Australia from one protest to another. I met two of them last week at dinner with a friend. They did not bring wine to the dinner because they joked “Centrelink does not pay an alcohol allowance”. They were en route from sitting in trees in Tasmania (getting a bit chilly?) to a demonstration up north against Harvey Norman furniture that is made from native timber. I didn’t witness this but they told my friend that as long as taxpayers are silly enough to pay them to do what they want to do, they are perfectly happy to keep on doing it.
In 1978 The Economist made a study of activists in high places and reported that the anti-nuclear campaign in Britain was passing out of the hands of apolitical environmentalists into the hand of the radical left. The paradigm case is Greenpeace which has been abandoned in despair by some of the founding fathers.
The scenes of violence that we have seen recently in Greece and London, also at G7 meetings, have precedents in the environmental and anti-NP movement, especially in Germany. In 1977 at Grohnde, Lower Saxony, 15,00 well trained and disciplined anti-nuclears (the leading cadres equipped with metal helmets and gas masks) fought 30 police companies trying to keep them off a construction site. 80 protestors and 237 police were injured, some critically due to the barrage of rocks, jagged metal missiles and burning materials launched from catapults. The attack was rehearsed at a replica of the gates and fences, with water cannon jets and tear gas deployed to mimic the real event.
The Australian press did not report the messy aspect of the outrage but Ralph Nader praised their efforts in his weekly newspaper column in the US.
American Government Support – the debacle of Jimmy Carter
The protest movement started with dedicated volunteers, then became an occupation when funding came from wealthy backers and foundations to pay for professional and fulltime workers. Then it reached the pinnacle of achievement when the taxpayers got to foot the bill as Governments took on board activists to pursue their passions with public funding and the power of the State to back them.
This was first apparent with the killing of the Clinch River fast breeder reactor project by executive order in 1977. A speaker at a conference in 1978 pointed out that the US Administration “had become a card carrying member of the anti-nuclear force”. He stated that President Carter was on board with the movement. “You examine the Carter budget for alternative nuclear cycles. There is all the evidence you need to conclude that no alternative to Clinch River is being seriously considered”.
“Most remarkable of all has been the outcome of a campaign promise by President Carter that he hoped to challenge Ralph Nader for the role of top consumer advocate in the country”.
Many sub-cabinet posts went to former public interest lawyers, consumerists and environmental activists. Fourteen key White House assistants including the President’s chief speechwriter came from the public interest movement. Speechwriters with a gift for the telling turn of phrase can make a great impact on public perceptions. Carter turned out to be especially susceptible to half-baked ideas, as demonstrated by Amory Lovins, a leader of the no-growth movement, who worked for Friends of the Earth in London. Lovins was well known in some circles for a pamphlet that advocated the ‘soft energy path’ for the US, using calculations that overstated the cost of NP by a factor of 2 and understated the cost of solar power by a factor of 10.
"Nevertheless, just twenty hours after meeting with Mr Lovins and without the benefit of consulting with any of the many energy experts available to him, President Carter presented Lovins’ energy calculations verbatim and uncritically in a speech before the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation Conference.”
That is far from the end of the story. Four former anti-NP activists became Assistant Atorneys-General in the Dept of Justice, and others moved into the positions of Assistant Secretaries in Health, Education and Welfare; Commerce, Interior, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development. “Naderites”. Their follow travelers in the consumer movement also scored some plum positions in the chairs of the Civil Aeronautics Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Highway Safety Administration, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and the Federal Trade Commission.
Who is Behind it?
The following organizations were listed in connection with public agitation urging the US to make unilateral concessions at the US-Soviet Union strategic arms limitations talks. The US Peace Council, the National Council for American-Soviet Friendship, American Friends Service Committee (far left Quakers), Clergy and Laity Concerned, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. All of those organizations worked closely with the World Peace Council and that body spawned Mobilization for Survival as an anti-nuclear arm of the communist "peace" movement. The four slogans of Mobilization for Survival were:
- zero nuclear weapons
- ban nuclear power (even for peaceful purposes)
- stop the arms race
- fund human needs
Further investigation revealed the extent of Foundation funding for environmental groups which shared the anti-nuclear stance of the communist-aligned "front" groups. The Rockefeller group backed Ralph Nader in his activities, and the Ford Foundation supported anti-nuclear environmental groups to the tune of $5.8M over eight years from 1970.
International Scene 1978-79
Grover reported that a 1978 report by Stockton and Janke of the Institute for the Study of Violence on "Nuclear Power: Protest and Violence" might have been regarded as doubtful and alarmist in the recent past but events were moving rapidly enough to provide additional evidence to support their findings. "The key organizations behind the anti-nuclear propaganda drive have at last surfaced through the mire of a hundred groups, many with titles that don't quite relate to what they are doing."
In Grover's opinion the US provided the leadership in personnel, tactics, organization and communications for the worldwide Western anti-nuclear movement. The misinformation that is communicated in other places is an echo of the resources and tactics developed in the US.
Amsterdam was a key centre for outreach from the US. The Institute of Policy Studies (the Washington one) set up the Transnational Institute in Amesterdam which in turn set up agencies in South Africa and the Phillipines. Amazingly, The Australian Solidarity Collective was established in Amsterdam in 1978 in association with the Greenpeace Movement in London. The Collective was presumably transient and references cannot be found on the net. Another offshoot was the Transnational Cooperative, established in Sydney with Laurie Carmichael (Communist Party of Australia) and Tom Uren as the directors.
World Coordinators of Misinformation
The International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace (ICDP) in London appeared to be the anti-nuclear world coordinating link. A major presence was Peggy Duff, also instrumental in establishing Mobilization for Survival. The ICDP handles World Peace Council activities where the parent body wants to remain out of sight.
The ICDP has/had two Australian connections.
The Association for International Cooperation and Disarmament in Sydney in the Sydney CBD.
The Congress for International Cooperation and Disarmament in Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne.
The UN has been penetrated by people dedicated to the anti-nuclear doctrine, as demonstrated by the sabotage of papers that scientists submitted to the UN Environmental Programme conference on nuclear energy at Geneva in November 1978. Over 20 consultants submitted papers in advance and when they arrived in town they found that the conference report had been printed and the conclusions could be read in the local press. The report did not represent the material that was submitted. It was heavily edited with anti-nuclear bias. A running battle ensued with letters from the Chairman of the panel of scientists demanding a re-write. This effort was stonewalled by the Secretariat, led by a Mr El Hinawai, who gave out press releases which continued to misrepresent ;the situation, prompting more letters from the Chair of the panel, to no avail. The message of the scientists did not get officially accepted but Grover reported that an article by Mr Hinawai on the dangers of nuclear waste appeared in the official journal of the International Atomic Energy Agency and was quoted by an anti-nuclear letter writer in an Australian newspaper in 1978. Bad news travels fast and far!
Manipulating the Media
In the US the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations funded "The Scientist's Institute for Public Information" to feed infromation to journalists, sourced from the likes of Barry Commoner and Helen Caldicott. This had so much initial impract that they extended the scope of the exercise by setting up a "Media Resources Centre".
The anti-nuclear UN Envivonment Programme supported the establishment of the "Centre for International Environmental Information" by the UN Association of the US. They approached a wide range of scientists and experts to find if they were prepared to be quoted as experts for contact by the mass media. Thousands of free copies of the Guide to Energy Specialists were printed and distributed to the news media. Among the experts were the usual suspects including Lovins (who briefed Carter) and Helen Caldicott among many others in the anti-nuclear movement.
When the genuine scientists realised what had happened they resigned from the list but the damage was done because they had already given respectability to the publication.
Carter turned out to be especially susceptible to half-baked ideas, as demonstrated by Amory Lovins, a leader of the no-growth movement, who worked for Friends of the Earth in London. Lovins was well known in some circles for a pamphlet that advocated the ‘soft energy path’ for the US, using calculations that overstated the cost of NP by a factor of 2 and understated the cost of solar power by a factor of 10.
Amory Lovins spends his time ensconced in his Rocky Mountain Institute thinking up ideas for the rest of us. He is an advocate of soft energy paths. Things like use of livestock for plowing and solar power.
I can't keep up with that tractor though, and I can personally attest the showers are dern cold in December, January, February, March.
Like Lovins, Owner needs to get some rich "sugar daddies" to fund his research into eking a living from the land here in Cow Hampshire, an experiment which is only assisted by Owners Wife keeping a job outside the farm. She's pleasant enough and likes me a lot (she sneaks me cookies once in a great while) but no-where near the financial underpinning that Lovins enjoys. Lovins probably gets the whole plate of cookies all for himself!
No growth doesn't seem to be a sustainable concept either as humanity has yet to curb it's reproductive instinct - and is unlikely to in even the distant future.
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