Nuclear Energy is SO Last Century

On an AlterNet piece I just read

6 Reasons Nuclear Energy Advocate Stewart Brand Is Wrong

The attached article from Harvey Wasserman discusses the justified failure of the nuclear industry and its champion Stewart Brand to become a factor as an energy source for the future.

Wasserman is right on, deriding Stewart Brand for his support of not just nuclear-generated power, but also genetically-modified plants and foods.

It seems that eventually, even the most noble protectors of our planet can become compromised by the influence of the corporate lobby.   Do you agree that nuclear power is outdated?

Tom Kemper

Tom is founder and CEO of Dolphin Blue, an online provider of ecologically responsible office supplies.

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“Peak Oil” Impact

We acknowledge The Guardian newspaper for taking a stand on a serious issue we’re all soon to be confronting, “Peak Oil”.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jul/11/peak-oil-energy-disruption

Having just read Michael Ruppert’s Confronting Collapse, I find this article from The Guardian to be very timely – one that  serves as a wake-up call for all of us, particularly those who play an important role in determining our energy future.

Do you think that today’s business leaders are aware of the potential impact of depleting oil on the world’s economic future?

Tom Kemper is founder and president of Dolphin Blue, Inc. and is an activist in environmental causes.
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Heroes of Sustainability: Dr. Helen Caldicott and The Ultimate Form of Preventive Medicine

“She showed me what one set-on-fire human being can do to shift the consciousness of the world.”  –Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking

Madonna once called to chat. Meryl Streep said, “Helen Caldicott has been my inspiration to speak out.” Martin Sheen says she’s shining “a powerful light.”

A number of well-known celebrities back the work of Dr. Helen Caldicott, but in the world of anti-nuclear activists, Dr. Caldicott’s name is a bigger marquee than all her Hollywood supporters combined.

For nearly 40 years, Australia native Dr. Caldicott has been on a mission to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age and the changes humans need to make to stop environmental destruction.

She started her career as a doctor, founding the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital in 1975 and then moving to the United States to become an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a staff member at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston. But as good as she was at medicine, in the wake of the Three Mile Island accident, the pull of preventing nuclear war was stronger, and in 1980, she resigned in order to give her full-time attention to this mission. Her medical roots, however, continue to inform her work. In her book Nuclear Madness, she writes: “As a doctor, as well as a mother and a world citizen, I wish to practice the ultimate form of preventive medicine by ridding the earth of these technologies that propagate disease, suffering, and death.”

Dr. Caldicott doesn’t just talk about her beliefs — she does something about them. In the U.S., she co-founded Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization of 23,000 doctors committed to educating their colleagues about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and nuclear war, and has started similar groups in other countries. The international umbrella organization, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.

She has written prolifically on the topic of halting nuclear weapons production, authoring seven books and countless articles. Most recently, she updated her classic If You Love This Planet, detailing trends such as ozone depletion, global warming, toxic pollution, food contamination, and deforestation, but offering hope as she rallies readers of the book to fight for the earth as we know it.

Her work has not gone unnoticed. Dr. Caldicott has received more than 20 honorary doctoral degrees from universities, and she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Linus Pauling, a Nobel Laureate. In 2003, she was presented with the Lannan Foundation’s Prize for Cultural Freedom; she was named Humanist of the Year in 1982 by the American Humanist Association; and the Smithsonian Institute labeled her one of the most influential women of the 20th century.

And like her Hollywood supporters, she’s been in movies — not as an actor, but as the subject. Eight Minutes to Midnight was nominated for an Academy Award in 1981, while If You Love This Planet took home the Academy Award for best documentary in 1982. Helen’s War: Portrait of a Dissident was created by Dr. Caldicott’s filmmaker niece and won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Direction (Documentary) 2004, and the Sydney Film Festival Dendy Award for Best Documentary in 2004.

Now splitting her time between Australia and the U.S., Dr. Caldicott gives lectures and hosts a weekly radio show called If You Love This Planet, which covers issues such as global warming, nuclear weapons, nuclear power, toxic pollution, hunger and poverty, and species extinction in an hour-long, in-depth format.

A lifetime devoted to educating the public came at a personal cost, leaving Dr. Caldicott with too little family time and a failed marriage. In the end, though, she believes it was her destiny. “I could have stayed at Harvard and done really well. I had a great boss. But I could see beyond pouring stuff into test tubes and treating individual patients. What was the use of caring for my patients so carefully if, in fact, they had no future?”

For more information on Dr. Caldicott, visit her website at www.helencaldicott.com.

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Sustainability Heroes: Michael C. Ruppert, The Whistle Blower

It has all the makings of something you’d only find in the movies: a young LAPD officer uncovering a drug trafficking operation by the CIA, resigning soon after he went on record about what he knew in the wake of intimidation, death threats, and even shooting attempts. But for Michael C. Ruppert, this was his life — and truth was stranger than fiction.

That was only the first of many whistle-blowing events for the activist, who went on to found From the Wilderness, a newsletter that covered such political issues as peak oil (the time when the world’s oil production hits its peak), the dependence of the global economy and financial markets on laundered drug money, and 9/11.

Using his decades of experience as an investigative journalist, late last year he released Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World, a must-read for those wondering what the state of oil today means for tomorrow. It was the inspiration for a 2009 documentary, called Collapse, in which Ruppert explains his ideas clearly and concisely, with plenty of frightening data to back up his assertions.

The outlook, as Ruppert sees it, is grim. Global oil resources are dwindling while demand is skyrocketing. Untapped sources are probably negligible. The economy is broken, a pyramid scheme that must be rebuilt. As Ruppert told The Wall Street Journal, his central message is this: “It is not possible to continue infinite consumption and infinite population growth on a finite planet.”

Trailblazing isn’t easy work, and exposing government corruption isn’t the best way to make friends. Undeterred, Ruppert says his proudest accomplishment is being labeled a radical thinker. “From now on, those are the only words I’ll ever have to put on a résumé,” he says. “You have no idea how much work it takes to earn that simple freedom.”

That work has led to high stress, health issues, persecution, and financial problems. Called an extremist and conspiracy theorist by some, a prophet and genius by others, Ruppert is nothing if not a polarizing figure. Whether you agree with all of his ideas or not, his spot-on predictions in the past — including his advance warning of the current recession — and ability to draw connections that others miss are reason enough to at least hear what he has to say, no matter how uncomfortable and unsettling his words.

While his predictions are gloomy, in Confronting Collapse, he outlines more than two dozen ways to mitigate disaster, like re-localizing the economy (particularly with food and energy production), creating an emergency action plan for soil restoration, shifting infrastructure money to rail projects, and supporting community-level efforts at the national level.

Just as it was back in the 1970s when he was a narcotics officer on a mission to expose our own government’s corruption, Ruppert’s life is like a made-for-Hollywood movie — but this one, if Ruppert is right, likely won’t have a happy ending unless we make big changes soon.

For more information about Ruppert, visit www.mikeruppert.blogspot.com.

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