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Unprecedented Support for Nuclear Power in Sweden

A new survey has shown unprecedented support for nuclear power in Sweden, this is despite a referendum in 1980 mandating an eventual total exit and closure of nuclear power stations. A new study by pollster Novus revealed that 46 percent of respondents agreed that nuclear power should be expanded if necessary, which is up from only 28 percent in 2017. While 31 percent believe that while it should not necessarily be expanded, existing nuclear power plants should remain in use. By contrast only 14 percent wanted to phase out nuclear power. Support for Nuclear power is higher then support for wind and solar combined.

“That answer is higher than the other two together. This has never happened before”, Mattias Lantz, a researcher at Uppsala University and chairman of the Analysis Group, said according to an article in Sputniknews.

It also showed that almost six out of ten still think that nuclear power can be a means of meeting climate goals.

Men, the elderly, and Moderate or Sweden Democrat voters tend to be the most positive about new reactors. By contrast, women, those with lower incomes, and Social Democrat voters tend to be in favor of decommissioning nuclear power. Even more interesting is the trend that younger people are now tending to be more positive about nuclear power despite, or maybe because of, the antics of juvenile delinquent Greta Thunberg.

Lantz attributed the change to the surfacing of shortcomings of the power grid systems in southern Sweden as well as the fact that the liberal-conservative Moderates, the Christian Democrats, and the national-conservative Sweden Democrats have raised the need for nuclear power.

U.S. Naval Scholar Criticizes Philosophy Behind the Indo-Pacific Strategy

Lyle Goldstein had never been afraid to “sail against the current” with regard to his vision of a sane U.S. defense policy, and it is hoped that his view is also shared by a number of U.S. defense intellectuals, who have some awareness of how the world is changing. In his latest article, entitled “The Indo-Pacific Strategy is a Recipe for Disaster,” Goldstein scores the malarkey dreamed up by U.S. policy planners based on the notion that the U.S. has now entered a period of intense rivalry with China and with Russia.

Goldstein goes back to a 1992 strategy document that asserted that the goal of U.S. policy was “to insure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge” and to maintain the continuity of “the unipolar moment.” He also notes that the DoD declassified, long before it was normal, the U.S. Strategic Framework for the Indo-Paciific, which built on the same basic notion. “The authors of the Trump administration’s framework were evidently so pleased with the work that they thought it necessary to declassify it before leaving office and share it with the public, even though the general custom is to wait 30 years before declassification,” Goldstein writes. “But surely they also intended that the document might constrain and direct the Biden administration’s approach to U.S. strategy heads.”

“The strategy represents a fusion of neoconservative and neoliberal thinking and may satisfy large segments of the foreign policy elite, orchestrating the design for a new cold war—this time focusing on China,” Goldstein writes. And what are the problems that this strategy represents? While harping a lot on the “alliance of democracies”, the strategy is meant to include countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore, all of which fall into that category only with great effort. Even with South Korea and Japan, traditional U.S. allies, he argues, it will be difficult for them to follow in the wake of a U.S. man-of-war heading for China.

More serious, he notes, is the situation with changing the policy toward Taiwan. “The island has befuddled American strategists for decades and their clever solution has been ‘strategic ambiguity,’ balancing a general acceptance of China’s claim with a subtle hint of deterrence in the hope that the complex issue could be settled peacefully. The newly declassified strategy overtly codifies the deterrence aspect without even the slightest nod to Chinese claims—something acknowledged by American presidents going back to Franklin Roosevelt. The attempt to shift the policy during the Trump Administration put the U.S. on a clear collision course with China.

“Some Americans seem to welcome that possibility, but they are not well informed about the military balance and likely scenarios. The truth is that the United States could very well lose such a war, a fact admitted in early 2021 by a senior Air Force official, and there is no telling whether nuclear weapons would be used or not.”

And then there is India. Goldstein notes that India’s military potential is not what it is cracked up  to be and that any attempt to promote trouble on the India-China border could lead to a disaster for India similar to that in 1962. And promoting an Indian presence in the South China Sea, he notes, has already led to a major Chinese naval build-up. He also notes the folly for India in pushing a major military build-up with so much of its domestic needs crying for attention.

“In the end,” Goldstein writes, “the Indo-Pacific framework proved long on rhetoric and ideology, but failed to grapple seriously with the underlying changes in the regional balance of power that must occasion a new U.S. strategy based on realism and restraint. The Biden administration should not overlook the former strategy’s foundational weaknesses. The new team would be wise to junk the old strategy and start fresh.”

Good advice from a defense scholar with great experience. Goldstein set up the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College. But his article was published in a lesser known internet site, the “lawfareblog.” It is hoped that it will be transmitted further. For although Lyle Goldstein may be a lone voice, in a cacophony of disparate—and mostly outlandish—voices, it does remain the voice of reason, and therefore deserves to be heard.

Read the full article:

Henry Jackson Society: Britain Should Show Leadership Against `Russian Aggression’

NATO is not addressing “Russian aggression” sufficiently. It is out-of-control and Britain, within the NATO construct, must lead the way in countering it. So writes Henry Jackson Society fellow Robert Clarke in a June 23 paper — apparently written just before the incident with the HMS Defender the same day — published in the {UK Defence Journal}. Clarke claims that Russia, with restrictions imposed on some waters of the Black Sea around the Crimean peninsula and the Sea of Azov, is working to isolate Ukraine from NATO. “Britain is doing the right thing increasing maritime patrols in this increasingly important region, as {HMS Defender} alongside the Dutch frigate {HNLMS Evertsen} from the U.K.-led Carrier Strike Group begin to patrol the Black Sea over the coming days in support of NATO ally Ukraine,” Clarke writes. In his mind, it seems, Ukraine is already a member of NATO.

In light of Russia’s recent behavior, “the U.K. should seek to incorporate the Black Sea region as a geostrategic priority. This must include joint maritime patrols with both Ukrainian and NATO allies. The joint patrol conducted with the Dutch frigate {HNLMS} Evertsen in the coming days is a good example of this bilateral engagement,” Clarke writes. “Building from this, the U.K. should develop a more permanent and consistent leadership presence, ultimately within a NATO framework. Both French and Dutch navies have recently been deployed or are soon to deploy to the Black Sea, with Turkey a major regional actor and close NATO ally.”

Clarke concludes: “As the U.K.-led Carrier Strike Group deployment fulfils the vision of a Global Britain as the eminent European naval power, it is to this strategic corner of southern Europe which the U.K.’s and NATO’s attentions must turn, in order to counter an increasingly assertive and emboldened Russia.”

Read the article in the {UK Defence Journal}.

Gabon Made To Mortgage Its Future for `Carbon Credits’

The otherwise nondescript nation of Gabon made history last week as the first African country to “get paid” to preserve its rainforest. At the end of an arduous, four-year process of “conforming,” on June 24, the Norwegian government distributed a $17 million payment, with the fantastic sum of $150 million still in the wind. The payment was allocated under the UN-initiated Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI). While not technically a part of UN Climate czar Mark Carney’s over-hyped “climate offset” scheme, this deal provides a window into the process, and will likely serve as a model.

In June of 2017, under the CAFI program, the nation of Gabon signed a Letter of Intent with the nation of Norway, and the Multi Partner Trust Fund of the United Nations Development Program, under which Gabon would agree to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% below the 2005 level, as well as agree to perform a series of “milestones”– which ultimately saw Gabon creating 13 “national parks”– effectively locking up the vast majority of its land area, prohibiting logging and other access to resources. Only at the end of the long process would Gabon get paid. That final “millstone” was passed in 2019, with an announcement at the Climate Action Summit in New York. For all its efforts and sacrifices, Gabon would receive $150 million over the next 10 years (assuming continued compliance). Last Thursday’s $17 million payment was the first evidence that its years of sacrifice would amount to anything at all.

First established in 2015, the CAFI brought together European governments, specifically Norway, France, Germany and the UK, along with six central African (rainforest) countries, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the Central Africa republic, Cameroon, and both “Congos.” The “rationale” behind CAFI was the reduction of carbon emissions. The year before had seen Norway sign a deal promising $150 million to Liberia, a model which CAFI then extended across the mid-section of the entire continent. In 2019, timed with the signing of Gabon in New York, a similar deal worth $65 million — between France and the Republic of Congo — was announced in Paris. There are likely similar efforts afoot in South America and the Indo-Pacific, the other “rainforest regions” of the world, which need to be investigated.

However, the idea that Africa needs to {reduce} its carbon emissions is farcical on the face of it, something which is slowly dawning on African leaders, as more and more evidence of this type of exploitation emerges. Africa’s total greenhouse gas emissions are 4% of the global total, yet CAFI used that global mantra to convince these six LNI (Low National Income) countries to mortgage their future with the promise of mere pennies.

The other hidden force at play here is the elusive “carbon market.” Norway, which now “owns” the Gabonese forests for the next ten years, now has an amount of carbon offset equivalent to 3X the national output of the entire United Kingdom. (The Gabon deal is celebrated for “setting a floor price of carbon” at $10 per certified ton.) Could Norway, for example– at some date in the future– put this “asset” (or a derivative based on it) up for sale, to be bought by a carbon-belching airline or steel foundry? If they did, and got a higher price for it, would Gabon see any of the profits?

These are the questions currently weighing down the heads of Mark Carney and friends in Davos, Switzerland. The weight may yet draw them down to Hell.

Rick Perry — the Green New Deal Is Anti-science and Kills

Rick Perry, the former Governor of Texas and  Energy Secretary under President Trump, spoke from power-less Texas Monday night on the Tucker Carlson show on Fox News, blasting the Green New Deal as anti-science ideological disaster which is killing people, and will kill more everywhere if not stopped. 

With over 4 million people without power in Texas — including Perry, whose power went down just as he appeared on TV (he was able to turn on a generator) — Perry described the freezing up of the wind turbines and the failure of the solar panels in Texas, adding: “We started taking down the coal plants, then the nuclear plants.If the country is going to continue to grow, to have an economic base which is competitive in the world, we’ve got to have a diverse energy supply which will be there when you call on it. That means fossil fuels, LNG, compact nuclear reactors. We have to look at fusion reactors — there’s great progress being made in that field right now. I don’t hear the new administration, the Green New Deal, talking about anything other than solar and wind. That’s fine, but you have to be thinking long term — there are not enough people thinking long term. You have a group of people so bent on their ideology — they don’t care about the future, they don’t care about your lives.”

He looked ten years ahead to life in an “AOC world” with only solar and wind. “What happens when we have this kind of event? It’s 9 degrees in Round Top, Texas. If you don’t have power to keep warm, you’re going to die! There are countless lives that can be lost with the kind of reckless adhering to a philosophy like that. It’s not scientific. We heard all the time during the campaign, `You have to stick with the science.’ Well, the science tells us, if you have just wind and solar, it’s going to get awfully cold in the winter, and awfully hot in the summer.”  

Naval War College Professor Warns of Nuclear War Danger

Lyle J. Goldstein, research professor at the U.S. Naval War College and founder of the China Maritime Studies Institute there, has been speaking out against the continued deterioration of US-Russia relations recently. On Feb. 5, he was interviewed by radio host Scott Horton and had placed an op-ed in the Washington Times on Feb. 3, in which he warned of the danger of nuclear war. In the op-ed, Goldstein praised the extension of the New START arms reduction treaty but warned “it would be foolish to pat ourselves on the back and think we have genuinely stabilized the smoldering train wreck of the U.S.-Russia relationship.”

“Mr. Biden made clear in October 2020 his view that Russia represents the most serious threat to U.S. national security. After December reports alleging Russia perpetrated a wide-ranging hack of the U.S. government, one might reasonably expect that Moscow and Washington remain practically on a war footing,” Goldstein wrote. “The Russian defense minister revealed just before Christmas that U.S. military forces are now making bellicose approaches proximate to Russian borders at a rate 15% higher than last year.”

“The Western press is now fixated on the fate of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and related protests,” Goldstein noted. “However, this mixing of domestic political issues, along with the various cyber complications, has created a troubling ‘perfect storm’ for U.S.-Russia relations.” Goldstein dismisses the alleged about Russian cyber-intrusions, and alleged Russian efforts to “divide America” as “silliness.” Instead, we should “turn to a genuinely grave national security threat — namely nuclear weapons issues in U.S.-Russia relations.”

Not only is Russia engaged in high profile exercises of its nuclear forces, “unnecessary American and NATO provocations are also clearly contributing to heightened tensions with Moscow.” This is not only going on along Russia’s borders but also in Ukraine and Syria as well, where US/NATO forces are operating in close proximity to Russian forces. “The Biden administration could actually attempt to improve this most critical bilateral relationship. The new president might, as a first constructive step, order his appointees to stop referring to Russia as an ‘adversary,’ much less as the ‘preeminent threat,’ Goldstein writes. “Such rhetoric may serve momentary psychological needs (e.g. othering) and swell the stock price of various defense contractors, but it also fuels the military tensions that are obvious and increasingly dangerous.”

Goldstein notes that there are those in the West who would welcome a “Maidan” in Moscow but “a Russia consumed by chaos and violence would actually not accord at all with U.S. interests.” He concludes: “Americans need to know that Russia’s massive nuclear forces are under singular, stable, and rational control — not in the grips of a fracturing state facing the possibility of civil war. Moreover, a stable and prosperous Russia will also be critical to the world’s recovery from an economic crisis wrought by the global pandemic.”

In the interview with Scott Horton, Goldstein noted that the Cold war ended suddenly, and triumphalism on the part of the US was the response. The power went to our heads, since the USSR collapse we might as well rule over the rubble, he said (paraphrase -ed.) This kind of contested zone where there was a power vacuum (referring to the former Soviet republics along Russia’s eastern and southern periphery) and NATO said we’ll take care of it. Russia’s power has ebbed and flowed over this region for five centuries, Goldstein said, and it’s power plays to try to settle where that power ends. NATO involvement in Belarus, he warned is a very dangerous situation and could lead to a NATO-Russia conflict. “We better think hard about how to avoid this,” he said. The US has no national interest in Belarus and there’s no reason to consider how the US would use force in Belarus and some in Ukraine. There’s no credible threat at this point to the Baltics, he said.

CDC Announces New Guidelines for School Reopenings

Rochelle Walensky, the newly appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) appeared on CBS Meet the Press today to discuss the CDC’s new school reopening guidelines. These are more thorough, and, if followed, probably more useful than previous CDC proposals. It is, however, a set of guidelines, not a mandate for action. It includes: 

As an “overview,” it presents a table giving brief description of measures taken and identifying them as permitting low to high levels of transmission. They say that schools operating at the high end should not open. 

Detailed instructions on the kinds of masks to wear, how to clean & care for them, etc.  

Strict 6 foot distancing. They say this is necessary for full return to school, but, of course, without doubling (or more) the size of the schools, there’s no room for full return and 6 ft distancing. 

Teachers should be vaccinated (Anthony Fauci told ABC today that that’s not absolutely necessary if the other CDC guidelines are followed.)  

Overall increased testing, including genetic sequencing to identify and track mutations. Walensky says that B.1.1.7 strain, now estimated at 4% of the U.S. infections, may be dominant here by next month.  

COVID relief package should include funds for improving the safety of our schools. Anthony Fauci said that passing the stimulus bill with these measures is a requirement for school re-opening. 

These proposals are clearly not workable in the Great Reset, so it remains to be seen whether there is anything more than pleasant talk in these proposals.

Putin Says Russia Is Working on Alternatives to Foreign-Run Internet Services

In a meeting today with editors-in-chief of Russian media outlets, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that Russia is working on its own alternatives to the Western dominated internet services, and once such a system is in place, Sputnik reported, Russia “does not rule out the possibility of switching off foreign internet services in Russia in the event of hostile action against the country.”  

Putin stated: “And when we do have something of our own, we will curtail, if at all, only taking a particular situation into consideration […] I don’t want to artificially cut anything off, but when some hostile actions are carried out, I do not exclude this. Hostile actions with respect to our country are unacceptable,” Putin said. Sputnik reported that Putin referred to domestic tech services such as Yandex and Sberbank that have good prospects. He added: “Our respectable colleagues, when they see that there is an alternative and they do not have a monopoly in this market, will act differently”. 

Putin also said Russia had come under attack and attempted destabilization from abroad. “As soon as we began to stabilize, to get back to our feet — the policy of deterrence followed immediately… And as we grew stronger, this policy of deterrence was being conducted more and more intensely… We have lots of achievements. And this is starting to annoy them,” he said.

Putin Emphasizes Importance of U.S.-Russian Space Cooperation in NBC Interview

In the course of his lengthy interview with NBC journalist Keir Simmons, aired two days before the Putin-Biden summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin identified for the American people a couple of areas in which both countries could cooperate, and explained how. The interview had some 750,000 views as of the afternoon of the summit.

Putin considers space one such major area of cooperation. He flatly rejected Simmons’s suggestion that Russia is preparing to stop cooperation with NASA on space, in favor of work with China, and dismissed Simmon’s reference to an earlier statement by the head of Russia’s space program, Dmitry Rogozin, that Russia would cut off cooperation with NASA if sanctions against Roscosmos companies were not lifted.

“We are prepared to work with the US in space. I think recently the head of NASA said that he could not imagine development of space programs without its partnership with Russia. We welcome this statement and we value it…. The cooperation between our two countries in space is a great example of a situation where, despite any kind of problems in political relationships in recent years, it’s an area where we have been able to maintain and preserve the partnership and both parties cherish it,” Putin responded.

Asserting that he knows Rogozin supports expanding the relationship with the US in space, Putin told Simmons “I think you just misunderstood what the head of the Russian space program said.”

“We are interested in continuing to work with the US in this direction, and we will continue to do so if our US partners don’t refuse to do that. It doesn’t mean that we need to work exclusively with the US. We have been working and will continue to work with China, which applies to all kinds of programs, including exploring deep space…. Frankly, I don’t see any contradictions here. I don’t think there is any mutual exclusivity here.”

Space science and exploration, recent breakthroughs in controlled thermonuclear fusion are the science drivers for a growing and prosperous human race. Man is surely a galactic species, and the realization of that idea has profound implications for everything from education and healthcare, to the potential for new Beethovens and Mozarts. That issue of scientific and artistic creativity will be central to the upcoming Schiller Institute/ICLC conference.

For the Common Good of all People, not the Rules Benefiting the Few!

International Schiller Institute/ICLC online conference, June 26/ 27, 2021

RSVP today →

UN Aid Agencies Warn 400,000 Children in Yemen Threatened With Severe Malnutrition

The heads of UN aid organizations issued a joint statement yesterday warning of the devastation being wrought on children in Yemen by the famine conditions in the country. About 400,000 children under the age of five are in danger of dying of acute malnutrition in war-torn and impoverished Yemen, they warned, reported {Al Monitor}. They said half of those in the most vulnerable age bracket, or 2.3 million small children, are projected to suffer from severe malnutrition this year. “These numbers are yet another cry for help from Yemen where each malnourished child also means a family struggling to survive,” World Food Programm chief David Beasley said in a joint statement.

“More children will die with every day that passes without action”, said Henrietta Fore, head of the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF. “Humanitarian organizations need urgent predictable resources and unhindered access to communities on the ground to be able to save lives.”

The UN agencies also warned that about 1.2 million pregnant or breastfeeding women are also expected to suffer from extreme malnutrition in 2021. “The crisis in Yemen is a toxic mix of conflict, economic collapse and a severe shortage of funding to provide the life-saving help that’s desperately needed,” said Beasley. “But there is a solution to hunger, and that’s food and an end to the violence.”

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