Harvey Wasserman

How Ohio’s fascist pro-nuke attack on democracy threatens the referendum process across the nation

A terrifying series of gestapo-style assaults, petiton buying, bribery, mass media manipulation and systematic intimidation has smacked into the attempt of Ohio citizens to repeal a billion-dollar bailout for two dangerously failing atomic reactors on Lake Erie.

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Disaster Spiraling Out of Control at Fukushima as Japan's Prime Minister Asks for Global Help

Japan’s pro-nuclear Prime Minister has finally asked for global help at Fukushima. It probably hasn’t hurt that more than 100,000 people have signed petitions calling for a global takeover; more than 8,000 have viewed a new YouTube on it.

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Why Obama Must Pardon Leonard Peltier

Barack Obama has taken his two daughters on a dramatic visit to the Robben Island cell once occupied by Nelson Mandela.

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Victory for Grassroots Activism and Public Safety: San Onofre Nuclear Plant Closure Announced

From his California beach house at San Clemente, Richard Nixon once watched three reactors rise at nearby San Onofre.  As of June 7, 2013, all three are permanently shut.  

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Why the Nuclear Industry Is Beginning to Collapse

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.

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Showdown at San Onofre: Why the Nuclear Industry May Be Dealt a Big Blow

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org.

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If the Same Magnitude Quake Had Hit California, We Could Have Been Nuked

Had the massive 8.9 Richter-scale earthquake that has just savaged Japan hit off the California coast, it could have ripped apart at least four coastal reactors and sent a lethal cloud of radiation across the entire United States.

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Nuclear Energy Suffers Another Big Blow -- Will the Dying Industry Continue to Beg for More Government Subsidies?

The atomic energy industry has suffered another astonishing defeat. Because of it, 2010 again left the "nuclear renaissance" in the Dark Age that defines the technology.  But an Armageddon-style battle looms when Congress returns next year.  

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Vermont's Great Green Election Day Victory -- Kick out the Nuclear Plant

Vermont has elected a governor pledged to make the state truly green by shutting its decrepit, leaking nuclear plant. And the town closest to that reactor has voted to take it by eminent domain if necessary, a step unprecedented in world history.

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Pot Prohibition Is the Cornerstone of a Police State

The simple truth about America's marijuana prohibition: any law that allows the easy incarceration of any citizen any time those in power want to do it is the ultimate enemy of democracy. With 800,000 annual arrests over an herb used by tens of millions of Americans, it is the cornerstone of a police state.

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Another Feeble-headed Nuke Drops Dead

As the "reactor renaissance" desperately demands new billions from a lame duck Congress, one of its shining stars has dropped dead. Other much-hyped "new generation" plans may soon die with it.

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6 Reasons Nuclear Energy Advocate Stewart Brand Is Wrong

Stewart Brand has become a poster boy for a "nuclear renaissance" that has just suffered a quiet but stunning defeat. Despite $645 million spent in lobbying over the past decade, the reactor industry has thus far failed to gouge out major new taxpayer funding for new commercial reactors. 

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Apocalypse Now and Next: From Gulf Spill to Nuke Disaster

As BP's ghastly gusher assaults the Gulf of Mexico and so much more, a tornado has forced shut the Fermi2 atomic reactor at the site of a 1966 melt-down that nearly irradiated the entire Great Lakes region.

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Our Big Challenge on Earth Day: Stop the Nuke Industry from Pretending It Can Prevent Climate Change

The Climate Bill is due on Earth Day. By all accounts it will be a nuclear bomb.

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You Are Now Paying for the Next 3 Mile Island

As radiation poured from 3 Mile Island 31 years ago this past weekend, utility executives rested easy.

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Obama Pledges Billions for 20th Century's Most Expensive Technological Failure -- Nuclear Power

As Vermont seethes with radioactive contamination and the Democratic Party crumbles, Barack Obama has plunged into the atomic abyss.

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A Quarter of U.S. Nuclear Plants Are Leaking a Radioactive Material Linked to Cancer

Like a decayed flotilla of rickety steamers, at least 27 of America's 104 aging atomic reactors are known to be leaking radioactive tritium, which is linked to cancer if inhaled or ingested through the throat or skin.

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Why Is Obama Trying to Prop Up a Doomed 'Nuclear Renaissance'?

Amidst utter chaos in the atomic reactor industry, Team Obama is poised to vastly expand a bitterly contested loan guarantee program that may cost far more than expected, both financially and politically.

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Why the ACLU Supported the Supreme Court's Shocking Assault on Free Speech

The Supreme Court's atrocious Citizen's United green light for unlimited corporate campaign spending had a willing accomplice -- the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Meet Two of the Green Movement's Most Hard-Core and Important Activists/Writers

On rare and welcome occasion we meet uncompromised green activists and writers completely focused on winning, and utterly void of bullshit.


Two such specimen are Mike Roselle and Jeffrey St. Clair. Not surprisingly, their recent books are pleasures to behold.


My long-time Greenpeace co-conspirator, Roselle is a "legend in his own crime" who exceeds his advance billing and then some. His Tree Spiker (St. Martin's Press) tells of a hard-scrabble Louisville childhood well-suited to the gritty green activism required to save forests and stop nukes. From a race along the edge of juvenile delinquency to some of the funniest jail tales you'll ever read, Roselle constantly amuses and inspires.


From the wrong side of the logging camps to the tops of tripods meant to save those very trees, Roselle sings a song of guts and glory without pomp or guile. Like all good organizers, Mike knows Rule One is "never be boring." Then there's the one about knowing you can win -- and doing it.


Tree Spiker is a quick, riveting read with all the self-effacing warmth and humor one would expect from a guy who co-founded Earth First! and felt honored by being thrown out of it.


With co-writer Josh Mahan he welcomes you into the world of a pretty big dude known to share (many) beers with various nefarious roughnecks and ideologues while totally outsmarting them all when it comes time to cut the crap and win the victory.


Push really comes to shove at one point when Roselle confronts the vanguard of the Earth First! organization he helped form to establish a Cove/Mallard Coalition aimed at saving some of the most pristine and least known forest stands in the lower 48. "No matter how much we advocated stopping the road" that would kill the region, he complained, "no one would arrest us."


Camped with little cover or support in the violent wilds of rightwing Idaho, Roselle and his hardy cohorts hang on for dear life -- the forest's, and their own. Against all odds, as months of brutal campaigning turn to years, "the chain saws and bulldozers have been silenced in Cove/Mallard, and you can once again hear the howl of a wolf float through the stillness of the night."


Typically, for Roselle, the lessons of the Cove/Mallard campaign were "opposite of what one might think." In this remote Idaho backwater, "we weren't even allowed into local stores or restaurants. Media coverage, with the exception of the alternative press, was universally negative. No foundation would give us funding. No self-respecting environmental group would join our coalition. Yet through tenacity, audacity, and a strong belief that, win or lose, we were all doing the right thing, we outlasted them."


Mike is now based in the West Virginia boonies, focused on stopping mountaintop removal. He's the quintessential grassroots activist. When you read Tree Spiker you'll realize that amidst the horrible devastation being wrecked on these mountains by King Coal, sooner or later, the momentum must turn toward Mother Earth.


And as soon as that happens, Mike will be inundated with requests to spearhead some other campaign, which he will undoubtedly get going, then get booted from, then rally to victory against ridiculous odds, many of them self-imposed by the circular green firing squad which loves to put the hard-core, uncompromised organizers like him in the middle.


My advice, if you still have legs and really want to help save the Earth, would be to read Tree Spiker, then track Mike down in the bar of the town where he's organizing [roselle@lowbagger.org, Climate Climate Ground Zero, PO Box 166, Rock Creek, West Virginia,25174; climategroundzero.org; (304) 854-7372]. Stand there till he tells you all the stories you can handle. You'll emerge with the ultimate green education. With consummate charm, Mike will then -- before you know what's happening -- put you to righteous use. Together, you will win ... as will we all.


Likewise the writings of Jeffrey St. Clair [sitka@comcast.net]. Raised in a rural Indiana now buried under lethal sprawl, he bemoans that fact that "my grandfather's farm is now a shopping mall. The black soil, milled to such fine fertility by the Wisconsin glaciations, now buried under a black sea of asphalt."


Anthologized most recently in his Born Under a Bad Sky (CounterPunch/AK Press), St. Clair writes with the incisive precision and wit of a gifted green surgeon going straight for the corporate jugular. Like Peter Mattheissen and very few others, his ability to describe nature in its virginal glory can be deeply compelling. "Destruction of the wild sparks militancy in the heart," he writes. "Wild places communicate their own passion and power, sensations that are the antithesis of political abstractions."


Like Roselle, St. Clair's faith lies in the grassroots, Mother Earth's army of last resort. "The power of the people can still overwhelm the influence of big money," he proclaims. "Anything is possible. Find your place, take a stand. People will join you."


An editor of the uncompromised, infamously acerbic CounterPunch website, St. Clair is at his bitter best bursting the bubbles of greenwashed hypocrites. Senator John Kerry and his fellow Democrats "never aligned themselves in opposition to the interest of the oil cartels," he writes. "Far from it. In Clintontime, oil industry lobbyists flowed through the White House as easily as crude through the Alaskan pipeline, leaving behind campaign loot and wish lists."


St. Clair is unique among environmental writers in the scope of what he covers. His superbly informed reportage spans the horizon from forests and water to energy and the chemical industry. He is meticulous, careful and credible. He cuts to the core with gusto and glee, especially when skewering those who most deserve it.


Among much else, St. Clair was one of the very few to grasp the complicity of "Gang Green" mainstream environmental groups in perpetrating the $100 billion scam of utility deregulation, beginning with Ralph Cavanagh of the Natural Resources Defense Council.


With Enron poised to rape and pillage California rate payers, Cavanagh sang Ken Lay's praises. "With a warble in his throat," St. Clair reports, "Cavanagh moved into rhetorical high gear" for a panel of state regulators contemplating deregulation.


"Can you trust Enron?" Cavanagh asked. "On stewardship issues and public benefit issues I've dealt with this company for a decade, often in the most contentious circumstances, and the answer is, yes."


Not until George W. Bush would praise those who held New Orleans's head underwater would such hype be heaped on those who did so much harm. As St. Clair shows, NRDC Founder John Bryson, perched atop southern California's largest utility, scammed billions from ratepayers to prop up defective nuclear plants, siphoning countless public dollars away from decentralized green energy projects while painting himself as a vanguard environmentalist.


Taken together, Roselle and St. Clair are as good as it gets for a green one-two punch. Tree Spiker Mike takes you into the boondock byroads of some of the toughest forest fights our emerging green nation has won. In his articles at CounterPunch and Born Under a Bad Sky, Jeff cuts to the core of who is bought and who is not.


Both these amazing guys have produced books that are great to read and utterly void of filler or fluff. Imbibe them each. Then go kick some corporate butt. Mother Earth will love you for it.

Is the Climate Bill Becoming an Excuse to Promote Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power?

Is the Climate Bill morphing into an excuse to promote fossil fuels and new nuclear power plants?

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GOP Goes off the Deep End, Proposes 100 New Nuclear Reactors in the U.S.

As the prospective price of new reactors continues to soar, and as the first "new generation" construction projects sink in French and Finnish soil, Republicans are introducing a bill to Congress demanding 100 new nuclear reactors in the U.S. within 20 years. It explicitly welcomes "alternatives" such as oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and "clean coal." Although it endorses some renewables, such as solar and wind power, it calls for no cap on carbon emissions.

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Who Will Pay for America's Chernobyl? You and Me!

As the US attempts to dig out from economic collapse, a little-known nuclear industry liability could seriously derail Obama's attempt to revive our finances.

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The Worst Giveaway Yet: Another $50 Billion for Rust-Bucket Nukes?

The nuke power industry is back at the public trough for the fourth time in two years demanding $50 billion in loan guarantees to build new reactors.

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People Died Because of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident, Why Won't Corporate Media Admit It?

Chernobyl exploded and Three Mile Island missed by a whisker. They both killed people. 

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Three Mile Island: Exposing the Government's Cover Up of Our Most Infamous Nuclear Accident

People died -- and are still dying -- at Three Mile Island. 

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Obama Has the Chance To Be Another FDR -- He Can End the Era of Marijuana Prohibition

The parallels between the 1933 coming of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama must include the issue of Prohibition: alcohol in 1933, and marijuana today. As FDR did back then, Obama must now help end an utterly failed, socially destructive, reactionary crusade.

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