The centenary celebrations of WILPF in Australia at the end of May were enhanced considerably by the presence of our Secretary General Madeleine Rees. The celebrations, held in Australia’s capital Canberra, included a public conference, centenary Australian Peacewomen celebration, a historical exhibition and the Section’s triennial conference.
Madeleine arrived early in the country, travelling firstly to Brisbane where she spoke at the University of Queensland on The dream and the reality: are our international institutions fit for purpose? (Although the real purpose of her visit was to cuddle a koala.)
The Peacewomen celebrations honoured four prominent women:
Helen Caldicott – physician, author and anti-nuclear advocate; founder of several associations dedicated to opposing the use of nuclear power, depleted uranium munitions, nuclear... read more
In an audience with Japanese Bishops, Pope Francis had criticized nuclear power by comparing it with the Tower of Babel, as reported by Takeo Okada, the Archbishop of Tokyo. When human beings attempted to reach heaven they triggered their own destruction. “Human beings should not break the natural laws set by God,” the Pope said. (Mainichi Shinbun March 22, 2015; Asahi Shinbun March 25, 2015)
This is probably the first clear-cut criticism of the “civil use” of nuclear power issued by the Vatican. The Pope expressed his conviction during an ad limina meeting with the Japanese bishops on March 20. “The destruction of nature is a result from human beings claiming domination (over the earth).” With these statements the Pope referred to the TEPCO-nuclear disaster... read more
Debunking the Misinformation Peddled by the Nuclear Industry and its Supporters
by Jim Green, Nuclear Monitor #804, 28 May 2015
The greatest risks associated with the nuclear fuel cycle are weapons proliferation and related risks such as military strikes on nuclear plants. The nuclear industry and its supporters have developed an elaborate set of tactics and myths to trivialize the proliferation risks.
1. Ignore the proliferation problem.
Often, nuclear proponents simply ignore the proliferation problem. For example, academics Barry Brook and Corey Bradshaw, writing in the Conservation Biology journal last year, rank power sources according to seven criteria: greenhouse emissions, cost, dispatchability, land use, safety, solid waste, and radiotoxic waste. Nuclear weapons proliferation is excluded from the analysis.
“Once upon a time, man learned to master fire. Something no other living creature had done before him. Man conquered the entire world. One day he found a new fire. A fire so powerful that it could never be extinguished. Man reveled in the thought that he now possessed the powers of the universe. Then in horror, he realized that his new fire could not only create but also destroy. Not only could it burn on land but inside all living creatures; inside his children, the animals, all crops. Man looked around for help, but found none. And so he built a burial chamber deep in the bowels of the earth, a hiding place for the fire to burn, into eternity.”
Demonstrators march hand in hand toward Central Park under a large banner reading, ‘Freeze The Arms Race,’ during a massive Nuclear Disarmament Rally, where about 750,000 gathered to rally for a nuclear arms freeze, New York City, New York, June 12, 1982. (Photo by Lee Frey/Authenticated News/Getty Images)
2014 was the hottest year in recorded history. 2015 is on track to be even hotter — and yet, before the most important international climate talks of the decade, even the most ambitious promises of action will fall short of what science demands.
At the same time, the movement to stop climate change is also making history — last... read more
Do nuclear sites cause increases in cancer in those living nearby? This is the question which has always been the key to stopping the development of nuclear energy.
For if the answer is Yes, the laws would cut in; human rights would cut in. Check Mate. The nuclear industry and its supporters have always known this, just as the cigarette companies and the asbestos makers recognised their own specific nemesis.
You can argue about the economics of nuclear till you are blue in the face, but they can always move the goalposts, global warming, future security of supply, special new safe thorium reactors and so forth. But killing people with your radioactive discharges: that’s it. The End.
Since she first set out on a course of social activism well over four decades ago, Helen Caldicott’s dedication to the anti-nuclear cause has taken her to some unusual places.
Perhaps no twist in her journey, though, was more unexpected than the one that took her in early 1982 to United States president Ronald Reagan’s White House via the Playboy Mansion, the Los Angeles pleasure palace of Hugh Hefner.
To explain how it happened, we must go back a little further to a chance meeting after an anti-nuke symposium elsewhere in LA.
“A woman approached me. She said her name was Pat Kingsley,” recalls Caldicott. “She was the key.”
Kingsley was Hollywood’s most powerful publicist, and she was... read more