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No Substitute for Nuclear Power, For Europe

The ECR (European Society of Radiology) and the Renew group of the European Parliament commissioned an independent study to assess the effectiveness of EU climate neutrality, and analyse and compare two climate-neutral power-generating technologies that, if they effectively replace fossil fuel infrastructure, can result in decarbonisation of the electricity system – wind/solar and nuclear. The study was initiated by Dutch MEP Rob Roos and Czech MEP Ondřej Knotek and peer-reviewed in part by, among other scientists, Nobel Prize-winning economist William Nordhaus. 

The study – Road to EU Climate Neutrality by 2050: Spatial Requirements of Wind/Solar and Nuclear Energy and Their Respective Costs found that, in realistic scenarios, there is insufficient land to meet all the power demand of the Netherlands – “a country along the North Sea with abundant wind” – and the Czech Republic – “a landlocked country with no access to the sea and a geographically more challenging landscape” – were to rely solely or predominantly on wind and solar power. It also concluded nuclear energy is more cost-effective than renewables. Even when major efficiency improvements in solar and wind farms are taken into account, nuclear energy will remain the cheaper option in 2050, it said. 

“Because current EU policies favour renewable energy over nuclear energy, an assessment of the relative cost of both technologies can easily be led astray and reflect the policy status quo, rather than anything inherent to these technologies,” the report says. “Massive funding found its way into the development and deployment of wind and solar energy solutions. This had the effect of reducing the price of renewable energy, but it has also had a relative inflating effect on the cost of nuclear power and of [its] deployment thereof in the EU. “Given the advantages of nuclear power from spatial and economic viewpoints, however, Member State governments will likely need to add nuclear power to their energy mixes to stay on track in their attempts to meet the EU’s climate neutrality objective.” 


Helga Zepp-LaRouche Briefs China Radio on EU-China Investment Accord

Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche gave an interview on Dec. 31 to China Radio International’s “World Today” broadcast coverage of the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI). The interview can be found here: http://chinaplus.cri.cn/podcast/detail/1/2689962, it starts at 29.47, and includes Dr. Qiao Hai [ph] of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

What follows is the exchange between CRI’s moderator and Helga Zepp-LaRouche:

CRI: Let’s begin this second half with the big investment deal between China and the European Union. The negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) was first launched in 2014, just before another new year. Both sides say the negotiations are complete. The announcement was made via a video link following a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping, his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, and heads of the European Council [Charles Michel] and European Commission [Ursula von der Leyen]. President Xi Jinping said the agreement show China’s determination and confidence in further opening up its economy to the rest of the world. He said, it would help the world’s two major economies make a significant contribution to the world economic recovery in the post-pandemic era.

To talk more about this, we’re joined by Helga Zepp-LaRouche from Germany. She’s the founder of the Schiller Institute, an political and economic think tank; and Dr. Qiao Hai from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Thanks for joining us.

HELGA ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Hello.

CRI: Speaking of the importance, Helga, how do you understand the significance of this agreement for both sides?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think it’s extremely beneficial. But if favors so far the larger firms and I think it needs to be more extended, also, for the smaller and medium enterprises. But I think the fact that President Macron from France participated in the signing ceremony is extremely important, because he has no title in that leadership of the EU, but it signals that both Germany and France are in total agreement.

Also I think it is very important that not one ambassador was against it: This is very important, because this agreement still has to be signed by all the national parliaments and EU, so the prospect that it will go through smoothly is actually looking very good. I think this is a major breakthrough for the whole world.

CRI: Helga, according to a transcript of an online meeting between the EU leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron offered to visit China in the coming months, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to discuss other areas of cooperation, such as healthcare and the environment. Are we going to see a stronger tie between China and the EU and stronger ties between China and European nations?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I definitely hope so. We are definitely in a world of great challenges, the pandemic is not over, international cooperation, and therefore my hope would be that European leaders would turn to Leibniz, who already in the 17th century said that is so happens that the most advanced cultures are situated at each end of the European continent, and they should join hands and develop the region in between. Now, I would hope that with China having made major concessions in this China-EU Investment, that Europe, in the other side would also be more open to cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative. Because that would really give the framework to address all the many challenges, such as the underdevelopment of the developing sector. In order to overcome the pandemic, it is not enough to throw cash at the crisis when it is there, but I think that China and the EU should work together to industrialize Africa, Southwest Asia, and other regions, because otherwise, the danger of new pandemics will always exist.

I would hope European leaders would turn to Leibniz in their approach, because Leibniz, was an absolute admirer of Chinese culture. And I think Europeans have so much to discover if they study Chinese history and culture and philosophy, poetry, painting—there are so many things to be discovered, and I would hope that this agreement opens the way for a new renaissance in relations between the two.

CRI: Helga, what’s your take? Are those concerns from the U.S. society legitimate?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: I think The “concerns,” so-called, are purely ideological and motivated by geopolitical thinking. In the recent period there has been an unprecedented anti-China campaign in the United States, which is blaming China for every problem on the planet, which is completely hysterical. But there is no way how the rise of China—which is really the motive for this—can be stopped! China is a country of 1.4 billion people, with a policy based on innovation. And China has been the leader of technological development for many centuries. So if China is now coming back as one of the most important four nations in the world, people should be happy about it, because, from everything I have studied and seen, China is a benign factor and does not do what the U.S. is accusing it of.

So I think it will be beneficial for U.S. firms, as Mr. Qiao just said. The anti-China sentiment, by the way, is not shared by many U.S. firms, by many of the governors, by many of the elected officials. So hopefully the example which is set now by China and the EU will also influence the situation in the United States.

CRI: Helga, many believe the conclusion of the agreement also shows the EU respects its relationship with the United States, but will not wait for the United States any longer. Do you detect a change of the EU-U.S. relations, when it comes to trade?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, it’s a mixed situation, because despite the fact that this ceremony was signed, Michel, from EU Council, still called China a “strategic rival.” But I think there is a general tendency in Europe to assert more sovereignty. Also within the different nations in Europe, there is a growing sense that national sovereignty is important. I hope this will lead to a new paradigm, because I think we need a completely new paradigm in in international relations, where geopolitics must be overcome. Geopolitics led two times to a world war in the 20th century, and the proposal by President Xi Jinping for a “shared future of mankind,” is, I think, a very important expression of this new paradigm. And if people start to study that and realize that in the post-pandemic world, either we find new ways of relating to each other or we will be doomed together. This is a branching point in history, where hopefully people will be open with new visions about the future of humanity.

CRI: Helga, do you think this deal will be a stepping stone to an EU-China free trade agreement?

ZEPP-LAROUCHE: Well, I think it will be a stepping stone, hopefully, for an even larger conception, because we need, really, a new world economic order. I think that the most challenging question is the development of the developing countries. We have a famine, which, according to the World Food Program threatens 270 million people’s dying by starvation in 2021. And I think there needs to be a crash program to overcome that. And I think the most important economic powers have to work together, and I really think the combination of pandemic and danger of world famine should be a motivation to really go for a completely different design, where the common good of the people is being put first and not the maximization of profit. This is a very important challenge to humanity that we take this step, and go away from what has been the financial system, where only the maximizing the profit of the speculators was what counted. This is a challenge to the sovereign governments of the world to respond to the need for the common good of their people. That is what people should think about.


Helga Zepp-LaRouche Revives Call for P5 Summit Now

Helga Zepp-LaRouche, on Dec. 28, in a discussion with Schiller Institute members from the United States, Canada, Gambia, Ireland, Denmark, Italy, and Germany about the insanity of Secretary of State Pompeo amidst the danger of extreme international tensions amidst the pandemic, and the threat of a famine of biblical proportions, said that it was of urgent importance for President Donald Trump to call Russia and China immediately to convene the P5 summit called for by Russian President Putin in January of this year.

She said:

“I think that President Trump, no matter what happens on January 6, whether or not he will be in the White House on January 20, he could do one thing. He could immediately call up Russia and China and say that because of the crisis, because of the pandemic, because of the famine, because of the danger to world peace, that he wants to respond to the offer of Putin to have the summit of the permanent five members on the UN Security Council, which President Putin has been advocating since January. Trump should say that he wants to have that summit right away. And that would be the very best thing he could do to counter all of this propaganda.

“The more people call the White House to suggest that, and who express [the need for the summit] in any other way, the better. I have no idea why Trump has not kicked out Pompeo. He is the same as Bolton on many of these issues. President Trump did have the courage to kick out Bolton. That was one of the best things he ever did.

“But I think to outflank [these dangers], in this incredibly complex situation, is for President Trump to now follow up on Putin’s offer for this summit, and meet with Putin, and Xi Jinping. This meeting can happen. French President Macron has already said he supports having such a summit, [U.K. Prime Minister] Boris Johnson has said he is in favor of it. But the truly important people are Presidents Trump, Putin, and Xi Jinping, who will be the difference in such a meeting. Johnson and Macron could not ruin such a combination. That is the one thing that Trump must be encouraged to do. I’m 100% sure that Russia and China would absolutely go for it immediately.”


COVID Reaches Critical Mass in Africa

A lengthy report in the New York Times underlines the absolutely disastrous situation facing Africa as it is hit with what is described as the “second wave” of the epidemic. During the last few months, it was generally reported that the epidemic was not as serious In Africa as what we have experienced in the U.S. and in Europe, although the dearth  of statistics and information coming from some parts of the continent may have caused a good deal of scepticism over these claims. And it’s very possible that many cases simply went undetected. But now the disaster is at hand – and readily apparent.

The report is authored by Sheri Fink, a NYT reporter who has written extensively on health and medicine and covered the Ebola crisis. In South Africa, the epidemic is spreading from Port Elizabeth to the entire country. Nigeria, Mali, and Uganda recorded their highest daily death count in the year. In South Africa, they admit that they really don’t know how many people have died from COVID. One government analysis shows that more than twice as many excess deaths simply could not be explained by the number of confirmed COVID cases. ““We don’t know what the real number is,” said Dr. John Black, the only infectious disease specialist for adults in Port Elizabeth.

The greatest number of COVID cases and deaths has been in South Africa, where the hospital system has been stretched beyond its limits. This includes cases which are suspected of being of the new mutated variety now found in Great Britain.

At the beginning of the epidemic early in the year, the African countries had instituted strong restrictive measures and lockdowns, but the measures proved to be so economically problematic that they began to ease up. South Africa brought in 200 physicians from Cuba, medical staff from Doctors Without Borders and scientists from the W.H.O. By late August, the numbers had dropped.

But the closed borders and canceled flights also prevented the rapid supply of equipment and outside experts to help in the fight. In Somalia, some areas were not reporting any cases at all. And investigations in areas controlled by the Shabab terrorist group, when they could be conducted, showed a rampant spread of the epidemic.

Even in hospitals in South Africa, which is probably the best equipped of all sub-Saharan African countries to deal with the crisis, the system has been swamped. And doctors have found it necessary to triage in the case of the limited ventilators and other equipment for the more serious cases, often prioritizing the younger candidates who are more likely to recover and live long lives rather than the elderly.

And the other dilemma that will  be faced as a vaccine is developed is getting it to Africans, and conducting mass vaccinations. Here also, the report notes there is “vaccine scepticism”  among many people as we also experience in the West. And many people still view COVID as a disease that Westerners get, and is not a threat to Africans. And the logistics of a mass vaccination on the African continent is absolutely daunting.  With the intense competition among countries to obtain vaccines from the various producers, African countries are not high on the priority list. Only China has promised that they would prioritize developing countries for their vaccine. But only a concerted effort  from the outside, and with the help of military-style logistics of a country  the size of the United States or China could accomplish the goal of getting vaccines to those in need in Africa quickly enough to avoid a total disaster.


Dr. Fauci: Up to 400,000 Americans Could Die of COVID-19 If Measures Aren’t Adopted This Fall and Winter

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the NIH told an American University audience on Oct. 6 that as many as 400,000 Americans could die of COVID-19, if the proper measures are not adopted as the flu season hits, this Fall and winter. That’s higher than a University of Washington study from August that talked about possibly 300,000 deaths by Dec. 1. The total as of Oct. 7 was about 211,000. According to The Hill, Fauci also said “that a vaccine will probably not be available to most Americans until next summer or the fall… `Maybe 50 percent of you hate me because you think I’m trying to destroy the country, but listen to me for six weeks or so, and do what I say, and you’ll see the numbers go down’”.


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