“The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.” (1) – Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” – King James Bible, 1 Timothy 6:10
The sky’s the limit and big banks are investing in energy sectors such as nuclear power instead of renewable energy at the expense of humankind, the biome and biota, and future generations of the Earth. Banks like Goldman Sachs have been investing in the uranium market which is one of the reasons the transition away from a dangerous, nuclear power system to a more viable and safer renewable energy system is taking so long to occur.
Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds reminds us that Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) and the Japanese government have consistently refused help from foreign engineering firms who have proposed solutions at “Dai-ichi,” Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant #1 (FNPP#1) (2). But due to reasons of national security or cultural pride, they refuse help despite Fukushima having dumped 23,000 truckloads of radioactively contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean.
Tepco blunders on, marauding the global commons like the deranged bandits who pillaged farmers’ crops in Seven Samurai.
Ring Of Fire
Gundersen noted that Japanese banks are demanding the restart of the nuclear reactors, despite clear public reluctance or opposition to doing so. The banks loaned Tepco and other utilities money while they were shut down after the 311 disaster in order to carry on operations. But it is costly to keep a full staff on hand while no electricity is being produced.
The banks, like Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, want their pound of flesh and don’t care if Japan is contaminated by another nuclear disaster caused by earthquake, tsunami or volcano. It’s just business.
Look around the world these days. Money Rules. Power Rules. Usurious, Fractional Reserve Banking Ponzi Schemes & Financial Scams Rule. Greece is now under the control of the central bankers who are grinding it into the dust of bones. The Parthenon may be sold off to Sheldon Adelsen and relocated in Las Vegas.
Big banks like Goldman Sachs (GS), who the prolific author, Texe Marrs calls the “world’s most evil and corrupt bank,” while its CEO, Lloyd Blankfein “arrogantly boasts ‘I’m doing God’s work’ ” are busybodies hard at work stealing other people’s money (5).
The excellent X-22 Report often notes that the “US central bankers” care nothing about the welfare or suffering of people whose lives are destroyed through anti-growth austerity policies, rather only about giving you more DEBT. The business of usurious banking is the art of selling debt as product. Modern society has adopted the mentality of “debt slave.”
Take Over The World
Dean Henderson of the Left Hook website offers a historical context from which the Vampire Squid Blood Suckers of Goldman Sachs emerged:
For over a century Goldman Sachs has joined the Houses of Morgan, Rockefeller, Rothschild, Warburg and Lazard in lording over the US industrial base, profiting from boom and depression alike. In July 1929 Goldman launched the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge investment trusts, at a time when the burgeoning middle classes were eager to hop on the Wall Street easy money bandwagon. The Goldman Sachs Trading Corporation sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of shares to public. They peaked at $104. All the while Goldman insiders were selling. By the fall of 1934 the shares were worth $1.75/each….
Insiders at Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Lehman and Merrill Lynch had also bailed out ahead of the Crash of 1929. Americans were outraged. A resurgent populism led to jail time for bankers such as Citibank President Charles Mitchell. It led to the passage of the Glass-Steagal Act, repealed by President Clinton in 1995, which stated that banks could be either commercial, investment or private banks – one of the three. And it led to Congressional inquiries into the Federal Reserve private banking monopoly. Many of these investigations were conducted by the House Banking Committee, chaired by Rep. Louis McFadden (D-NY). Speaking of the Great Depression, McFadden concluded, ‘It was no accident. It was a carefully contrived occurrence…The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so they might emerge as rulers of all of us’ (6).
Mike King’s new and authoritative history of the Rothschild family is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the central banking cartel which owns much of the world’s money supply and controls the politicians who serve its interests (7).
The context is relevant, after a century of struggle is was the Federal Reserve whose creation in 1913 was the final nail in the coffin of the American republic. A private banking cartel, the so-called “Federal Reserve” was finally able to monopolize US money supply. In the same year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were created to force citizens to pay income tax to cover interest on the “loans” from the Fed to the US government (8). No nation needs “bankster gangsters” to print their nation’s currency. The richest country in the world, blessed with resources and ingenuity, yet 20 percent of children are raised in poverty.
Where did the money go? After the 2008 financial crash trillions of it went to Goldman Sachs. The Federal Reserve is the fount of insider info to their tribal brethren at the desks of Goldman Sachs where the rigging of markets occurs.
Goldman Sachs In The Black, Jack
A recent US Senate report notes that GS’s “own regulator, the Federal Reserve, gave its blessing to this unprecedented and dangerous encroachment by banking interests into industrial commodity ownership and has effectively looked the other way as the banks moved into industrial commerce activities like owning pipelines and power plants. One would think that the mega banks’ regulator, the Federal Reserve, would be the first line of defense against this type of dangerous sprawl by banks. According to the Levin Subcommittee report, the Federal Reserve was actually the facilitator of the sprawl by the banks” (9).
GS also helps determine who will be the US President by donating to both political parties (10). Wealthy donors and corporations can now spend unlimited funds on political donations, essentially now owning the political process: lock, stock and barrel (11). In other words, GS gains favor with whoever wins in the largely rigged (à la electronic voting) and skewed US political electoral system.
The Nuclear Criminal Cover-Up
While President Barack Obama was originally cool on nuclear power in his early years of campaigning, he has adopted the policy that in order to fight “climate change” nuclear power is a viable option. GS have gotten their money’s worth with Obama’s 2013 choice for US secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, who is a “booster of nuclear power” and hypocritically, “fracking” for hydrocarbon reserves (12).
Ever since the Fukushima triple reactor nuclear meltdown in Japan in 2011, nuclear power has been strongly discredited as a viable energy source. That image of a mushroom cloud over reactor three as it blew sky high, propelling plutonium (the world’s most dangerous substance) well up into the atmosphere and even farther laterally alarmed the public about the supposed safety of nuclear power energy production. A mushroom cloud here, a mushroom cloud there, pretty soon you’re talking about some real radiation.
On average the US has nuclear meltdown “near misses” every 3 weeks (13) while radiation from Fukushima is still being dismissed by the nuclear establishment as having no detrimental health or environmental impact. What a lie.
The funders of high profile studies claiming that low level radiation is practically safe are inevitably from the very same complex of monied interests. It is a glaring conflict of interest where the “experts” plead with the public to “trust us” (14). When these kinds of studies are published in mainstream newspapers there is no mention of potential bias in the funding of the study, it is just reported as “factual” news (15).
In reality, the nuke industry is carrying out a war against renewable energy, despite the costs and risks there is no stopping the radioactive monster even though viable and safer renewable energy already exists (16; 17).
Uranium, Uranium Everywhere, But Not A Drop To Drink
The context for major bank investments into commodities is a world plentiful in uranium and yet hard-to-sell-to-the-public nuclear power. According to the World Nuclear Organization (WNO):
Production from world uranium mines now supplies over 90% of the requirements of power utilities. Primary production from mines is supplemented by secondary supplies, principally by ex-military material and other inventories. World mine production has expanded significantly since about 2005 (18).
Furthermore, the WNO boasts that:
Nuclear power capacity worldwide is increasing steadily, with over 60 reactors under construction in 15 countries. Most reactors on order or planned are in the Asian region, though there are major plans for new units in Russia. Significant further capacity is being created by plant upgrading. Plant life extension programs are maintaining capacity, in the USA particularly.
Today there are some 437 nuclear power reactors operating in 31 countries plus Taiwan, with a combined capacity of over 380 GWe. In 2014 these provided 2411 billion kWh, over 11% of the world’s electricity.
Over 60 power reactors are currently being constructed in 13 countries plus Taiwan (see Table below), notably China, South Korea, UAE and Russia (19).
The IAEA reports that there are currently 67 nuclear reactors under construction mainly in the Far East, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe (20).
For example, “China claims to hold over 2 million tonnes of uranium deposits” and yet are “working on uranium-free nuclear plants in attempt to combat smog…. Beijing brings forward deadline for world’s first thorium-fuelled facility in attempt to break reliance on fossil fuels.” Although thorium may not be all it is cracked up to be in terms of a safer and viable alternative to uranium (21; 22; 23).
*(Incidentally, China’s hunger for decorative ornaments is driving the world’s most graceful and grand living creature, the African elephant, toward extinction due to the unsustainable ivory trade (24).)
There’s Uranium In Them Thar’ Hills: ‘Nufcor,’ Nuke-For or FU Taxpayers?
The Rolling Stone‘s indefatigable Matt Taibbi has exposed GS’ bid to control the world’s energy systems:
Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general, including everything from food products to metals like zinc, copper, tin, nickel and, most infamously thanks to a recent high-profile scandal, aluminum. And they’re doing it not just here but abroad as well: In Denmark, thousands took to the streets in protest in recent weeks, vampire-squid banners in hand, when news came out that Goldman Sachs was about to buy a 19 percent stake in Dong Energy, a national electric provider. The furor inspired mass resignations of ministers from the government’s ruling coalition, as the Danish public wondered how an American investment bank could possibly hold so much influence over the state energy grid.
Allowing one company to control the supply of crucial physical commodities, and also trade in the financial products that might be related to those markets, is an open invitation to commit mass manipulation….
The situation has opened a Pandora’s box of horrifying new corruption possibilities, but it’s been hard for the public to notice, since regulators have struggled to put even the slightest dent in Wall Street’s older, more familiar scams….In these new, even scarier kinds of manipulations, banks that own whole chains of physical business interests have been caught rigging prices in those industries. For instance, in just the past two years, fines in excess of $400 million have been levied against both JPMorgan Chase and Barclays for allegedly manipulating the delivery of electricity in several states, including California.” (25).
Global Research confirms that
large banks have recently expanded their businesses into such fields as electric power production, oil refining and distribution, owning and operating of public assets such as ports and airports, and even uranium mining.
Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley are no longer just banks – they have effectively become oil companies, port and airport operators, commodities dealers, and electric utilities as well. This is causing unforeseen problems for the industrial sector of the economy. For example, Coca Cola has filed a complaint with the London Metal Exchange that Goldman Sachs was hoarding aluminum. JP Morgan is currently being probed by regulators for manipulating power prices in California, where the ‘bank’ was marketing electricity from power plants it controlled. We don’t know what other price manipulation could be occurring due to potential informational advantages accruing to derivatives dealers who also market and sell commodities (26).
It was revealed that GS exploited workers who endured dangerous and environmentally threatening working conditions through their “ownership of a uranium trading company and two open pit coal mines in Colombia. When one of the mines was shut down last year due to labor unrest, Goldman’s Colombian subsidiary requested military and police assistance to end a human blockade — before paying the miners with $10,000 checks to end the protest.”
Since 2008, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley have engaged in many billions of dollars of risky physical commodity activities, owning or controlling, not only vast inventories of physical commodities like crude oil, jet fuel, heating oil, natural gas, copper, aluminum, and uranium, but also related businesses, including power plants, coal mines, natural gas facilities, and oil and gas pipelines.
GS has led the pack in “Mixing Banking and Commerce”; “Affecting Prices”; “Gaining Trading Advantages”; “Incurring New Bank Risks”; “Incurring New Systemic Risks and Lacking Key Information.”
Federal regulators and the public currently lack key information about financial holding companies’ physical commodities activities to form an accurate understanding of the nature and extent of those activities and to protect the markets (27).
GS Fuels Nuclear Power Trade
Majia’s Blog reports that
[i]n 2006 and 2007 hedge funds piled into Uranium. Goldman Sachs is noteworthy because of the scope of its involvement the leverage that involvement affords it over uranium pricing and, no doubt, demand. If you want to know why nuclear is pursued despite its obvious costs and risks, there is no better place to begin understanding than addressing who benefits from the global uranium trade (28).
According to an investigation by Michigan Senator Carl Levin, regarding GS commodity units:
The regulators should restore the true role of banks, which should not involve owning pipelines, oil and aluminum and engaging in these kind of activities…They’ve got to stop this activity because there is great risk to the economy – because if these large banks engage in these kinds of major deals and if natural disaster create a huge loss as a result of an oil spill, this can affect the whole economy and you get into the whole issue of bailouts by taxpayers because these banks are too-big-to-fail.
Major banks such as GS, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase profit from cornering the market in particular commodities such as uranium and by trading in derivatives. In other words, you trade more than you actually own and thereby make money selling things you claim to own, but don’t really. Hmm. Although derivatives can be technically efficient within the trading system, scam artists like Bernie Madoff built his Ponzi scheme empire using derivatives and stole 65 billion dollars from clients.
The same is true with the big banks who are underinsured and typically don’t have adequate capital to cover potential losses (assuming the taxpayers will bail them out again since they are too big to fail if there is a collapse). In 2010 the BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Disaster is a case in point where there were billions of dollars in damages were not insured by investors.
The two year investigation has already put pressure on the Fed to have the primary big banks in the business — Goldman, Sachs & Co. (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) – wind down or divest what remains of their physical commodity businesses. And while some of the institutions have started to wind down these businesses others are seeking to get into commodities.” Despite this, “Levin fell short of saying that big banks should be required to divest their physical commodities units, which include ownership of coal mines, nuclear power plants and oil pipelines as well as various metals including uranium.
Financial reporter Ronald Orol explains Goldman Sachs unethical involvement in uranium trading:
Goldman acquired Nufcor International Ltd., a uranium trading company that stored and traded uranium in various stages of enrichment, in 2009. After the acquisition, Goldman significantly hiked the unit’s uranium trading from 1.3 million pounds bought and sold annually to 13 million in by 2012, raising questions in the report about unfair competition and conflicts as well as a lack of capital and insurance to protect against a catastrophic event. The report also questioned whether this was a window dressing-type sale designed to create a shell corporation, noting that Nufcor’s employees left when Goldman bought it and as a result it became operated by Goldman employees.
According to the report, Goldman never took possession of the uranium but had title to it. It argues that any Goldman assertions that Nufcor is liable, not the mega-bank, for a catastrophic costs don’t hold up. ‘They had possession — they owned it,’ said one congressional staffer. ‘There is no Nufcor, it’s a shell. Goldman employees buy and sell uranium and arrange for the transport of it.’
In a statement Goldman said it ‘enhanced’ its insurance program after acquiring Nufcor but added that the cost was low in light of ‘the remoteness of any potential risks.’ It adds that Nufcor’s activities have been limited to buying and selling ‘unenriched’ uranium, which they argue does not present concerns raised by Levin. It added that any suggestion that Goldman abuses client information related to Nufcor is ‘utterly false.’
Earlier this year, likely under pressure from Levin’s investigation, Goldman sought to sell Nufcor but was unsuccessful and said it plans to wind down the business. Goldman said it plans to limit Nufcor’s activities to meet ‘current supply obligations,’ which extend through 2018 (29).
Of course, Wall Street Wizards don’t give a rat’s shiny tail about environmental pollution or workers’ rights as long as there is a buck to be made. How ironic that Goldman Sachs’ nuclear trading desk, Nufcor, has dealt in yellow cake uranium from Africa, the same material and location that Saddam Hussein was falsely accused of importing it for an illegal nuclear weapons program — the fraudulent pretext used by the Zionist-Neocons in a war that killed and displaced millions of people in Iraq.
It is possible that GS is involved in selling yellowcake to weapons makers (e.g. Israel has a secret nuclear weapons program). As of 2014:
Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank [were] quietly trying to get out of a business few people know they are even in: trading supplies of raw uranium known as yellowcake. In the last four years, the banks have amassed low-grade stockpiles of the nuclear fuel ingredient larger than those held by Iran, and enough to run China’s nuclear plants for a year.
Although GS is trying to sell their uranium business, but other banks are eager to take their place. The history of Wall Street in uranium markets illustrates just how far banks moved into physical commodities trading during the natural resources boom of the last ten years. Through its nuclear trading desk, known as NUFCOR International Limited, Goldman has a deal to market the vast majority of South Africa’s uranium production from one of the country’s largest miners.
While people familiar with the business say Goldman has only sold uranium to nuclear power plants and other traders since buying NUFCOR four years ago, some have questioned whether banks should be dealing in such a politically sensitive commodity. Though the global trade in uranium is monitored by governments, intelligence agencies, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, no single authority can trace every deal….A number of specialist hedge funds started to buy and hold yellowcake in the middle of the last decade, in belief the world was on the cusp of a so-called ‘nuclear renaissance.’ They thought demand for nuclear power would soar as countries tried to curb greenhouse emissions. In 2007, the price of uranium surged to nearly $140 a pound from under $20 a pound just five years earlier. Prices spiked again in 2010 from just over $40 a pound to near $65 a pound. Some uranium consumers blamed funds and banks for hoarding the fuel and helping to push up the price… (30).
Indeed, in two voluminous scholarly works by professor Gabrielle Hecht who directs the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Michigan, we learn that there is “widespread complicity in masking uranium’s origins by using a two-step export system, cleansing uranium of its provenance by sending it first to be processed in another country” (31). This is essentially an illegal practice yet many well-meaning bureaucrats are unable to prevent it.
A New Dawn?
But let’s consider all the evidence, GS also appears to be investing heavily in renewable energy:
The latest initiative is part of Goldman’s 2012 plan to channel investments totaling $40 billion into renewable energy projects over the next decade. The Japan Renewable Project Bond Trust product will provide a structure to give institutional investors the chance to invest in investment grade-rated securitized renewable energy bonds. It will initially focus on solar energy, and will be expanded to other types of renewable energy assets as projects arise. The initiative comes after a rush of investment into solar following the introduction of preferential tariffs mandated by the government in 2012 to promote the development of renewable energy after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered the Fukushima nuclear power plant crisis (32).
Renewable Energy (RE) bonds are issued for subscription (risk purchase) by investors (most likely institutional funds – pension, life insurance, trust, etc.) located in Europe. Renewable bonds can be palmed off to foreign investors, precisely because they are not the best informed people about RE (CleanTech) laws, finance, regulations in Japan. GS makes money regardless of whether the bonds earn a real return (after the first couple of years) or simply go bust. The tendency will be initially for the apparent bond value to rise, based on the early solar players’ enthusiasm and marketing hype based on data based on nonsense estimates. But Japan has a limited land base (and expensive at that) for solar farms, and there are few if any subsidies (for feed-in regulations by provincial governments, feed-in into the regional grid, which is controlled by regional utilities invested in nuclear and coal).
Now, the regional utilities can benefit from the bonds by the initial market push (because they are shareholders in RE projects in order to control and eventually trash them, and can profit from the short-term mania), and then will offload the bonds to banks in lieu of cash debt, and the bank will accept these (nearly worthless pieces of paper) to hawk to their major investors (Japanese pension funds, etc. who worship GS). This is a merry-go-round powered by financial delusion, and when it stops some fool is left holding the worthless bond, while GS walks away whistling to the next scam.
So, look at the hierarchy of players in this game and realize it goes around in a circle back to GS, which will handle eventually the debt bonds of the big losers. It is criminal, it is sick, it is yet another sign of our times. GS makes money at every transaction step (personal communication, July, 2015).
The Bowels Of The Beast
Obama’s US defense secretary, Ashton Carter, who has made a career out of militarism, “opted to pursue the profitable path of science and technology in the service of weapons and war, and the individuals and organizations that design strategies and technologies that require that America remain in a perpetual state of war of some kind.”
Carter, like Iraq war architect Richard Perle, “served as a member of the Defense Policy Board, another influential Pentagon committee that advises on ‘issues central to strategic Department of Defense” (33).
Download Your Free Copy of Counter Markets
The Global Technology Partners company lists Carter along with many other pentagon power-brokers as working for their recently Rothschild International Investment Bank allied company in the military technology and war promotion area (34).
Meanwhile, Japan shifts into re-militarization mode:
Mitsubishi Heavy has been making armored vehicles for Japan’s military for around 80 years, beginning with the Imperial forces in the 1930s. It also builds fighter aircraft, naval vessels, submarines and missiles. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan to look at a prototype of an amphibious assault vehicle that could one day be a key pillar in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to sell weapons abroad. the maker of the wartime Zero fighter plane is eyeing overseas sales after Abe lifted a decades-old ban on arms exports in April last year as part of his more muscular security agenda, two Japanese defense industry sources said (35).
The changes in Japan’s policy can be seen throughout the society, even as the country is mired in recession and the prospects for average people worsen daily.
The [Japan] Defense Ministry plans to subsidize university research in basic technologies for the first time ever. It is nevertheless aware that there is sensitivity in academia about getting involved in military-related work. The ministry’s Technical Research and Development Institute is soliciting applications for the annual subsidies of up to 30 million [yen, or, 300,000 dollars] each by mid-August. It will decide on the recipients in early November. Among examples of possible subject areas, the institute suggests work on laser systems and the development of high-efficiency power generators for aircraft engines. Each project that secures a subsidy is supposed to be completed within three years (36).
The Nuclear Industrial Complex
Anti-nuclear critic and scholar Majia Nadesan sees “nuclear as a complex with many constituent parts, including miners; refiners, scientists, utilities, nuclear organizations, etc. that all benefit from the complex” (personal communication, July, 2015).
The nuclear industry is tightly owned and controlled by a narrow range of industry players, hedge funds, and investment banks. As illustrated by Poneman’s move to join Centrus, regulatory capture threatens government’s capacity to act in the public interest. Poneman has been advocating for Japan to resume its pluthermal nuclear program and has supported the Rokkasho reprocessing site, which sits on [an earthquake fault line] (37).
The relationship between nuclear weapons and nuclear power is historically inherently intertwined where the creation of the A-bombs relied on building a reactor in order to generate the plutonium used to create nuclear explosions.
As Nadesan shows in her published works, Eisenhower rationalized use of nuclear weapons in conjunction with the development of nuclear energy (38; 39).
‘Nuclear power has from its beginnings been tied closely to nuclear weapons production…. despite engineering challenges, prohibitive costs, and public discomfort about radiation, the major industrial powers launched their nuclear energy programs.’ US President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s ‘Atoms for Peace’ speech in 1953, was ‘a masterpiece of inversion, transforming the horrors of nuclear weapons into the productive, peaceful promise of nuclear energy’ and was the treacherous launch pad for the world’s most deadly technology. Atoms for Peace lead to Japan’s adoption of the ‘Atomic Energy Basic Law’ two years later. At the same time the official promoters and apologists for nuclear energy, the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), was created in association with the the Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO, a part of the United Nations. How ironic that the IAEA’s work has contaminated the world food supply with radiation spewed from the nuclear power operators. Nadesan writes that the ‘IAEA endows research at institutes through grants, a practice that began in 1960 and continues today.’ The IAEA sees no problems with a nuclear accident here, a catastrophe there, and promotes the “peaceful uses of nuclear energy” without any shame (40).
As the book The Doomsday Machine amply demonstrates, the adoption of nuclear power today is often a pretext for third world countries to beef up their militaries and give themselves an edge over potentially hostile neighbors (41).
As if more proof were needed, the title of this recent article says it all about how the US is addicted to militarism, war and nuclear technology:
“The US Needs War Every 4 Years To Maintain Economic Growth” (42).
Shifts, Changes, Buzzes, Beeps
It is true that some high tech companies are aggressively moving into renewable energy (43). But “the digital economy uses a tenth of the world’s electricity — and that share will only increase, with serious consequences for the economy and the environment” (44).
While it is laudable that Big Tech is moving away from nuclear power, it is not an end-all solution in itself, as the astute environmental critic Jane Anne Morris points out:
At the scale necessary to power data centers, solar, wind, and even bicycle power involve considerable habitat loss….The idea that efficiency reduces consumption is at best debatable, and at worst a public relations scam. As Don Fitz wrote in ‘Why Energy Efficiency Isn’t Reducing Consumption’ (Synthesis/Regeneration, 2009), over a century and a half of research on the relationship between efficiency and consumption of a resource has marshaled considerable evidence that the opposite is true. Since Stanley Jevons documented that coal consumption increased ten-fold after smelters tripled their efficiency (The Coal Question, 1865), the phenomenon has been called the Jevons Paradox. Historically, in capitalist systems, increased efficiency has led to more consumption, not less. Being efficient is good, but it does not mean sustainable, it does not mean green, and it does not reduce consumption. Data center efficiency is improving, and Google Inc.’s are reputed to be among the best. But when Gaia is diminished by the ripping out of coal, and the dumping of sludge, her suffering is in no way reduced if the resulting electricity is used ‘efficiently.’ Earth’s problem is not the inefficiency of resource use, but the quantity (45).
Indeed, one wonders if moving in a direction of less technology, or at least wiser use of resources and technology is not the answer. Today some people have flat screen TVs in every room of their house to watch one of a thousand cable entertainment channels. If that gets boring you can spend hours on Facebook and social networks diverted by infinite trivialities. But we have lost understanding of who and where we are in the universe.
Evolution is nature’s way of preserving itself, but nature is losing out for the first time ever as it becomes curiously unnatural, artificially induced to adapt to human existence. It is human-made evolution, through and through. The Anthropocene is the dawn of a new age when humans consciously and subconsciously shape nature, altering an evolutionary process as old as life itself and challenging the planet’s life forms. The consequence is that seventy-five percent (75%) of Earth’s surface has been modified by the human footprint (46).
The Nuclear War Against Renewables
While capitalism struggles to find a sustainable path, not everyone is on board, including Bill “I’m A Billionaire Computer Dweeb” Gates who actually “hails [a] ‘high tech’ nuclear power firm as the answer to mankind’s future energy needs” (47; 48). Gates may think nuclear power and vaccines will work best to cull the planet of useless eaters while he can make a few more bucks on the side.
But not all hope is lost. In an important new study titled “Power Shift: The Deployment Of A 21st Century Electricity Sector And The Nuclear War To Stop It” we are treated to an amazing assemblage of data and arguments (Op. cit.). The nuclear industry (and Bill “The Geek” Gates) is in a “war” to prevent the development of a decentralized energy grid that could be run entirely on renewables.
Mark Cooper, who has written the report for the Institute For Energy And The Environment is working in the independent-minded surroundings of Vermont where small “d” democracy has a long tradition in the form of Town Meetings. Vermont tradition represents the dwindling American ethos of decentralized, local, direct-democracy unshackled by Washington D.C.’s (District of Criminals) tyrannical control over the citizenry.
Cooper makes the case for an unshackled, decentralized, democratically operated, electricity grid. The new grid would cater to renewable energy sources, the “sundown” industries of carbon based and nuclear energy would no longer be relevant or necessary.
Although distributed technologies have already put a great deal of economic pressure on the 20th century model, centering the electricity system on new technologies with new organizational principles requires a thorough transformation of the physical and institutional infrastructure of the sector. Dominant incumbent interests naturally resist such a transformation since their assets and skill sets do not fit well within the new model and would be significantly devalued if the alternative model were to become dominant. As UBS succinctly put it in a recent report, if the alternatives are allowed to expand and the electricity system is transformed to support their leading role, Large-scale power generation, however, will be the dinosaur of the future energy system: Too big, too inflexible, not even relevant for backup power in the long run.
In response to the threat of the alternatives, the incumbent interests have launched a ‘war against the future’ on two primary fronts. The two most severely threatened incumbents are grounded in the largest and most inflexible sources of power generation in the 20th century electricity sector: coal and nuclear power. Each has taken a different tack in its resistance to the transformation of the sector.
[U]tilities that are deeply invested in large central station generation see this potential development as a severe threat to their interest and they have responded by launching an all-out attack on the alternatives with two fronts.
[T]he incumbent utilities [are attempting] to slow the alternatives at the federal and state levels, while they seek subsidies for their preferred resources. Following from the earlier analysis, [Cooper] shows that the challenge of reliability, far from being the liability that the advocates of the central station model claim it is, can be a major advantage for the decentralized approach because it saves on vital resources.
[Cooper examines] the issue of subsidies, showing that nuclear has been the recipient of much larger subsidies, with little to show for it. In contrast, renewables have made much more progress, more quickly with much smaller subsidies, and there are good reasons to expect these trends to continue. Subsidizing mature aging reactors is shown to make even less sense than subsidizing new reactors. [Cooper] also shows that claims by nuclear advocates that nuclear is a job creator that is indispensable to meeting the carbon reduction goal do not withstand close scrutiny. The number of jobs created by building alternatives to replace nuclear exceeds the number of jobs ‘lost’ due to early retirement over the first half decade. Factoring in decommissioning jobs, there is no net ‘loss’ of jobs for well over a decade. Estimates of the potential for deployment of alternatives would exceed carbon reduction targets by a substantial margin, even if nuclear reactors are retired.”
Richard Wilcox is a contributing editor and writer for the book: Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization? (2014) and a Tokyo-based teacher and writer who holds a PhD in environmental studies. He is a regular contributor to the world’s leading website exposing the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Rense.com, and a regular contributor to Activist Post. His radio interviews and articles are archived at http://wilcoxrb99.wordpress.com and he can be reached at [email protected]
1. The Great American Bubble Machine
2. Fukushima Daiichi Decommissioning: Follow The Money
3. Fukushima Clean-Up Based On Shady Science & Tax Payer Rip-Off
4. Can Robots Save The World? Fukushima’s Nuclear Fuel Mess
5. CEO of World’s Most Evil and Corrupt Bank, Goldman Sachs, Arrogantly Boasts “I’m Doing God’s Work”
6. Goldman Sachs: A Criminal Enterprise
7. Planet Rothschild
8. Review of “Creature from Jekyll Island”
9. Senate Report: Scale of Wall Street Holdings Are “Unprecedented in U.S. History”
10. 2012 Presidential Election Winner Already Determined
11. Supreme Court: Campaign-finance limits violate free speech
12. Obama’s Department of Fracking and Nukes
13. The Truth About Nuclear Power – Part 16
14. Leukemia and lymphoma study recently published in Lancet being strong challenged by SARI via Atomic Insights
15. Low-dose radiation exposure slightly increases leukemia risk: study
16. Articles by Amory Lovins
17. POWER SHIFT: THE DEPLOYMENT OF A 21ST CENTURY ELECTRICITY SECTOR AND THE NUCLEAR WAR TO STOP IT
19. Plans For New Reactors Worldwide
20. The Database on Nuclear Power Reactors
21. China claims to hold over 2 million tonnes of uranium deposits
22. China working on uranium-free nuclear plants in attempt to combat smog
23. Thorium MSR No Better Than Uranium Process
24. African Elephants May Go Extinct Within The Next Decade
25. The Vampire Squid Strikes Again
26. Giant Banks Take Over Real Economy As Well As Financial System
27. Big Banks Take Huge Stakes in Aluminum, Petroleum and Other Physical Markets, then Manipulate their Prices
28. Follow the Money
29. Sen. Levin: Commodity units rife with risk, manipulation
30. Goldman puts ‘for sale’ sign on Iran’s old uranium supplier
31. Hecht, Being Nuclear
32. Goldman Sachs targets $1 billion in Japan renewable energy bonds
33. Physicist for War and Profit
34. Rothschild Forms Strategic Alliance with Global Technology Partners
35. Mitsubishi eyes technological leap
36. Treading new turf, Defense Ministry offers subsidies for university research
37. Former DOE Employee Goes to Work for “World’s Leading Supplier of Enriched Uranium Fuel for Commercial Nuclear Power Plants”
38. Nadesan, M., Boys, A., McKillop, A., Wilcox, R. (Eds.) (2014). Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization? The Dispossession Publishing Group, http://wp.me/17PGi.
39. Majia Holmer Nadesan, Fukushima And The Privatization Of Risk. 2013, 149 pp. (Palgrave/Pivot).
40. Nuclear Energy – Forever Damage To Human Life – Book Review of Fukushima And The Privatization Of Risk by Majia Holmer Nadesan
41. Martin Cohen and Andrew McKillop, The Doomsday Machine: The High Price of Nuclear Energy, The World’s Most Dangerous Fuel (Palgrave, 2012, 242 pgs.)
42. “The US Needs War Every 4 Years To Maintain Economic Growth”
43. Why Big Tech Companies Are Investing In Renewable Energy
44. The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy
45. The Real Amount of Energy Used to Power the Internet
46. Human-Made Evolution
47. Bill Gates hails ‘high tech’ nuclear power firm as the answer to mankind’s future energy needs
48. Tech Titans Like Bill Gates Are Gambling on Nuclear Power — But It Looks to Be a Losing Bet
Image credit: Anthony Freda Art