Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Silent Steven Marshall – cowardly silence from South Australia’s Premier on nuclear waste dump plan

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

A scary reality, Trump still has the nuclear codes

Former Reagan aide: Trump still has the nuclear codes. And that’s genuinely scary.  https://www.nj.com/opinion/2020/12/former-reagan-aide-trump-still-has-the-nuclear-codes-and-thats-genuinely-scary-opinion.html    By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist  By Mark Weinberg,  24 Dec 20 

Almost anything Donald Trump does in his last weeks as president can be undone by Joe Biden. Executive Orders can be reversed, regulations can be changed, unnecessary commissions can be disbanded, and (some) political appointees can be removed from their positions. Unfortunately, a few will remain after Trump leaves because of how terms are structured, but their ability and probably their willingness to cause mischief will be severely limited when their man is out of the White House. At least one hopes so.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that until noon on January 20th Trump will have access to the codes necessary to authorize a nuclear war. That is genuinely scary.

The size, scale and influence of the United States’ economy notwithstanding, what makes the president of the United States the most powerful person in the world is control of our nuclear weapons.

Our two most threatening adversaries, Russia and China, both have significant nuclear arsenals. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are aware that Trump is a wounded and weakened president and will be so until he leaves office next month. Whether they sense that translates into an opening for them to outright attack us — or at least threaten to — is an open question. No doubt they are watching closely for opportunities to enhance their world domination campaigns at our expense, which means we must be super-vigilant.  Nuclear war is no joke. It is as serious as it gets. What animated Ronald Reagan most in his efforts to engage the Soviet Union to reduce both country’s nuclear stockpiles was that each nation had the ability to destroy each other. Reagan called this the “MAD” – Mutually Assured Destruction – policy, which he rightly thought was unacceptably dangerous and worked hard to eliminate. He famously said: “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Contrary to opponents’ depictions, Reagan was not a trigger-happy warmonger. Indeed, he was the opposite. A World War II veteran, he knew well of, and worried about, the indescribably deadly potential of nuclear weapons and took very seriously his duties as president in either responding to — or initiating — a nuclear strike.

As with all modern-day presidents, elaborate steps were taken to make certain Reagan always had access to the nuclear codes wherever he was. There was never a time during Reagan’s presidency when his stability or suitability to have the nuclear codes was in question.

Such is not the case with Trump. Indeed, his descent into self-serving delusion, bitter rage at anyone who dares speak the truth, and complete rejection of the long-established norms that have kept our democracy intact, make one wonder whether he is mentally stable and capable of exercising sound judgment should he be faced with “the ultimate” decision. My answer would be no.

So what to do until he is replaced by a more stable, sensible, and sane president?

Tempting and legitimate as it may be, invoking the 25th Amendment to declare Trump “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office” is not a realistic possibility at this point. For reasons they will have to explain later, most members of Trump’s Cabinet, including Vice President Michael Pence, are either unable or unwilling to recognize Trump’s instability and unsuitability for office and fear that doing anything to upset him could be professional suicide.

Perhaps a solution can be found in the presidency of Trump’s hero, Richard Nixon. It has been widely reported that in the last few days Nixon was in office, then-Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, concerned that a distraught Nixon might do something rash, issued a directive to the military that if Nixon ordered a nuclear strike, they were to check with him or Secretary of State Henry Kissinger before executing.

Hopefully, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller has the wisdom to issue such an order. He needs to. Whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has the courage and patriotism to act as a backstop against any reckless Trump order is a question which, with any luck, will never require an answer.

December 24, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

In USA’s economic and health crisis – nuclear weapons spending is booming

Roughly 50,000 Americans are now involved in making nuclear warheads at eight principal sites stretching from California to South Carolina. And the three principal U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories — located in Los Alamos and Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif. — have said they are adding thousands of new workers at a time when the overall federal workforce is shrinking.

“the insane idea that after a pandemic and dealing with climate change and in an economic crisis in which people are struggling with massive inequality that we are going to spend this much money modernizing every last piece of our nuclear infrastructure — that would be a failure, a failure of policy and a failure of imagination.”

But major defense contractors and their employees — including many of those making nuclear weapons or running the national laboratories where they are designed — have long influenced budget choices by helping to finance elections of the members of Congress who approve spending for that work. The industry’s donations in the current election cycle to members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees alone had reached $9.4 million as of mid-October; of that amount, the two chairmen took in a total of at least $802,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group. These tallies don’t include separate donations by lawyers or lobbyists.

December 24, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Extinction Rebellion has much to learn from Angus Taylor, Australia’s “worst” minister — RenewEconomy

Gap between Coalition ideology on climate and energy and the rest of the world is so great that even AFR readers voted Angus Taylor worst minister. The post Extinction Rebellion has much to learn from Angus Taylor, Australia’s “worst” minister appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Extinction Rebellion has much to learn from Angus Taylor, Australia’s “worst” minister — RenewEconomy

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What you read in 2020, and why we’re taking a break — RenewEconomy

The RenewEconomy stable topped 20 million page views in 2020 and this is what you read. We’ll be back in 2021. The post What you read in 2020, and why we’re taking a break appeared first on RenewEconomy.

What you read in 2020, and why we’re taking a break — RenewEconomy

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December 23 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Electrify Everything: The Cost Of Solar Cells Has Nowhere To Go But Down, Down, Down” • Silicon solar cells deserve a pat on the back for ushering in the renewable energy revolution, but now it’s time for more efficient, less expensive technology to take the wheel. If you guessed that means perovskites, run […]

December 23 Energy News — geoharvey

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Complete list of electric cars under $75,000 in Australia in 2021 — RenewEconomy

The options for electric vehicle buyers in Australia are growing: Here is the complete list of new models available in 2021 under $75,000. The post Complete list of electric cars under $75,000 in Australia in 2021 appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Complete list of electric cars under $75,000 in Australia in 2021 — RenewEconomy

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Planning for chaos: We can’t use the past to predict the future — RenewEconomy

Australia’s regulatory framework needs to catch up with the fact that climate change means that we can’t use the past to predict the future. The post Planning for chaos: We can’t use the past to predict the future appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Planning for chaos: We can’t use the past to predict the future — RenewEconomy

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The top 4 climate and energy points of 2020 — RenewEconomy

From bushfires to the Paris agreement, 2020 was the year the federal government started learning the dangers of treading water while others swim hard. The post The top 4 climate and energy points of 2020 appeared first on RenewEconomy.

The top 4 climate and energy points of 2020 — RenewEconomy

December 24, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment