MP Jenica Atwin Quits Green Party To Join The Liberals

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Pondering

Edzell wrote:

Pondering wrote:
......

We elect MPs, not parties even though our personal motive might be due to party affliation or the leader of said party ......

That is not true, although it's often claimed to be the working theory. In my observation the vast majority of the population votes based on either; party ideology, perception of party performance (past/anticipated) or preference for the party leader. And of course the parties encourage this for all they're worth.

As I said, voter motivation might be leader or party, but if that is what we were voting for floor crossing wouldn't be possible.  Floor crossing is possible, therefore we are not voting for leader or party even if that is our intention. The only power a voter has is to choose their representative, not the party or leader. If people understood that better we might get better local candidates. 

Our system is designed to allow MPs the freedom to sit as independents or join a different party. 

Edzell Edzell's picture

@Pondering; I understand your points but I think that in practice, in the way election outcomes are actually decided, they're not generally given much thought.

Pondering wrote:
...... The only power a voter has is to choose their representative, not the party or leader......

Not the only power. They have the power to choose their preferred represntatives on any basis whatsoever. In my observation the vast majority make their choice based precisely on the candidate's party and its leadership. I deplore this but ..... ??

Quote:
Our system is designed to allow MPs the freedom to sit as independents or join a different party. 

For most, that's not much of a choice, for the reasons I've already suggested.

kropotkin1951

JKR wrote:

Pondering wrote:

I think saying floor crossers betrayed voters is inaccurate. We elect MPs, not parties even though our personal motive might be due to party affiliation or the leader of said party. 

...

Elected MPs are the voice of the people. 

I can't think of one MP who puts the interests of their constituents ahead of their party. Our Canadian parliamentary system demands party discipline of MP's not loyalty to their constituents.

BC NDP MP's have a slightly different attitude. I think that Gord Johns will put the interests of his constituents ahead of the party but unfortunately he is so concerned with local issues that he allows the central office to determine his foreign policy. When I lived in Burnaby I first had Svend and then Bill for MP's and neither of them bowed to the central office. I do accept thought that they and a few other's are the exceptions not the norm.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Edzell wrote:

I'd love to be able to vote for someone who just seemed honest and intelligent, with good common sense and a handle on the concept of fairness.

Unfortunately, elections in our system have always been controlled by the already powerful... [snip] ...It is an interesting question whether it would be easier for these interests to control a parliament of non-partisan MPs, or a duopoly of well-behaved parties. I certainly would expect that such interests could easily derail any bill which they found problematic in such a parliament of individuals.

You suggest that the individual members could easily be bought? I did say I wanted to vote for honest persons, but if you're doubting there would be enough of those to form an incorruptible majority I won't argue.

Quote:
Whatever the answer may be, I believe that capitalism and democracy are fundamentally incompatible

Hmm, not sure. Would you rule out the desirability of a controlled, regulated capitalism? Please understand that I'm not versed in  economic or political theory, but although not learned I believe I have useful thoughts & wonderings:).

 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

MPs are pointless at the moment. Might as well save the salaries and just give points to the parties to decide who will be king for four years. MPs don't even get to talk to the Prime Minister. The House of Commons is a scam. 

MP's used to have much more power when they selected their respective party's leader and were also able to depose them whenever they wanted. That system of maintaining confidence is still used in Australia. I think going back to that system would be an improvement but I don't see it happening. I think the responsibility of party members should be choosing excellent candidates to run for office. I think candidates and MP's should be in charge of party policy.

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Edzell wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Edzell wrote:

I'd love to be able to vote for someone who just seemed honest and intelligent, with good common sense and a handle on the concept of fairness.

Unfortunately, elections in our system have always been controlled by the already powerful... [snip] ...It is an interesting question whether it would be easier for these interests to control a parliament of non-partisan MPs, or a duopoly of well-behaved parties. I certainly would expect that such interests could easily derail any bill which they found problematic in such a parliament of individuals.

You suggest that the individual members could easily be bought? I did say I wanted to vote for honest persons, but if you're doubting there would be enough of those to form an incorruptible majority I won't argue.

I certainly believe that you want to vote for honest people, but every candidate pretends to be honest, and how much research could you do on 8 or 10 independent candidates in your riding? If you happened to know one personally, or by reliable reputation, then you would have some basis for voting, but it's much more difficult to find this sort of information than it is to learn party policies. Also, power tends to appeal most to the people who are least likely to exercise it responsibly, so you probably won't find the best candidates on the ballot. The lack of parties would also provide an extra advantage to incumbents, who would be hard to dislodge unless they screwed up very badly.

There would still presumably be campaign expenditures by, and contributions to, these fiercely independent candidates. Since we know that campaign finance is closely related to electoral success, those who proved best at schmoozing the local elites would do very well. Under this sort of system, it might be even cheaper to buy politicians than it is today. I was speculating over whether it would be easier and cheaper to buy 2 political parties or 200 local MPs. I don't know the answer.

As you can probably gather, I am pretty cynical about representative democracy in general, and I think we need to imagine something better.

Edzell wrote:

Quote:
Whatever the answer may be, I believe that capitalism and democracy are fundamentally incompatible

Hmm, not sure. Would you rule out the desirability of a controlled, regulated capitalism? Please understand that I'm not versed in  economic or political theory, but although not learned I believe I have useful thoughts & wonderings:).

This is obviously a subject of much controversy, which is why I used "I believe" rather than some stronger assertion. Liberals and most Social Democrats believe that I am wrong, and such a system is possible if only we could get the right laws enacted. I am not an economist, and I have not read Marx, but I have read and listened to many explanations of his critique of capitalism, and I find it very persuasive. Here is a short clip of the economist Richard Wolff explaining the basics of the Marxian critique.

On a somewhat different tack, here is a clip of Noam Chomsky explaining the conflict between capitalism and democracy, and how that conflict was addressed by Aristotle in ancient Athens, and Madison in the U.S. constitution. I could be wrong, but I agree with Chomsky and Wolff.

Pondering

Edzell wrote:

@Pondering; I understand your points but I think that in practice, in the way election outcomes are actually decided, they're not generally given much thought.

Pondering wrote:
...... The only power a voter has is to choose their representative, not the party or leader......

Not the only power. They have the power to choose their preferred represntatives on any basis whatsoever. In my observation the vast majority make their choice based precisely on the candidate's party and its leadership. I deplore this but ..... ??

Quote:
Our system is designed to allow MPs the freedom to sit as independents or join a different party. 

For most, that's not much of a choice, for the reasons I've already suggested.

I choose who I will vote for based on PM/party policy. That is motive. Voting is an action. I vote for a representative whether I like it or not. If I want to vote for a party or a PM, I would have to change the system.  MPs have been so disempowered that they are seat warmers. Cabinet ministers are little more. 

cap·i·tal·ism

/ˈkapədlˌizəm/

 

 

 

Learn to pronounce

noun

an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Capitalism is democracy. Nothing could be more democratic than someone creating something or performing a service in trade for something else.  We replaced bartering with a symbol, money. Capitalism isn't the problem. Promotion of the free market and anti-government ideology are the problems. 

The right turned criticism against it into critcism against government in general. The left fell into the trap because we heavily criticize all governments in power because they are on the right. Unfortunately that plays into their privatize everything hands. 

Edzell Edzell's picture

Pondering wrote:

I choose who I will vote for based on PM/party policy. That is motive. Voting is an action. I vote for a representative whether I like it or not. If I want to vote for a party or a PM, I would have to change the system.  MPs have been so disempowered that they are seat warmers. Cabinet ministers are little more. 

cap·i·tal·ism

/ˈkapədlˌizəm/

 

Learn to pronounce

noun

an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Capitalism is democracy. Nothing could be more democratic than someone creating something or performing a service in trade for something else.  We replaced bartering with a symbol, money. Capitalism isn't the problem. Promotion of the free market and anti-government ideology are the problems.

I believe there are many things we could/would agree on but, having read this post, any urge to discuss them with you evaporates.

Sem.an.tics

Pol.it.ics

Learn to recognise the difference.

melovesproles

Edzell wrote:

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Edzell wrote:

I'd love to be able to vote for someone who just seemed honest and intelligent, with good common sense and a handle on the concept of fairness.

Unfortunately, elections in our system have always been controlled by the already powerful... [snip] ...It is an interesting question whether it would be easier for these interests to control a parliament of non-partisan MPs, or a duopoly of well-behaved parties. I certainly would expect that such interests could easily derail any bill which they found problematic in such a parliament of individuals.

You suggest that the individual members could easily be bought? I did say I wanted to vote for honest persons, but if you're doubting there would be enough of those to form an incorruptible majority I won't argue.

Quote:
Whatever the answer may be, I believe that capitalism and democracy are fundamentally incompatible

Hmm, not sure. Would you rule out the desirability of a controlled, regulated capitalism? Please understand that I'm not versed in  economic or political theory, but although not learned I believe I have useful thoughts & wonderings:).

 

I think the lack of compatibility between Capitalism and Democracy comes down to the problem that:

  • Capitalism has inbuilt class hierarchies and relies on the exploitation of labour to produce value.
  • Capitalism requires continual growth which means that it depends on ever expanding exploitation.

How do we regulate our way out of that? A system that requires class hierarchy and increasing exploitation is going to have a hard time with democracy. This can be seen in how autocratic most workplaces and firms in Capitalism, how Capitalist powers have always used military and covert force to suppress democracy around the world, and how limited democracy is even in the most advanced Capitalist countries.

Another good example of this is how the ‘Golden Age of Capitalism’ ended. Capitalism in the West was at it’s most regulated and shackled in the late 60s/early 70s and when it entered crisis the response of the elites was to attack democracy, labour power and government regulation.

All that said, I think regulation and reform is absolutely worth fighting for. I don’t see a revolution overthrowing Capitalism anytime soon and the only way that has a chance of happening is if the system goes into terminal crisis. While that is increasingly more likely, I think the more class consciousness and political organizing developed through the struggle for reform before that point, the better. Despite all the division, there is a broad consensus on the left between Socialists, Social Democrats and even some Liberals that things like health, education, housing, water, food etc. should not be commodities and should taken out of the Capitalist system. In my opinion that is a type of anti-capitalism and while electoral politics alone isn’t enough, I think state power could still be harnessed to transform these from commodities to rights and I think a broad coalition is the way there. I don’t know if Michael agrees with that but where I think I probably agree with him is that satisfaction with partial reforms and regulations while allowing the fundamental system of Capitalism to exist will only ever result in short-term gains. Historically, Capitalism doesn’t spend a lot of time rolling over and playing dead. Reforms and regulations are a good way to chain the vampire to the rock but forgetting that it needs a stake to the heart is why this horror movie got a whole new neoliberal act.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I do in fact agree with just about every point in post 60. In particular, I think that alliances with liberals and social democrats on many issues are desirable and necessary steps towards a better system. But, as melovesproles correctly points out, they are not sufficient to establish a sustainably just society (to steal an expression from that old hypocrite PET).

Pondering

Edzell wrote:

I believe there are many things we could/would agree on but, having read this post, any urge to discuss them with you evaporates.

Sem.an.tics

Pol.it.ics

Learn to recognise the difference.

Apparently you don't know the difference.  Words have definitions.  That isn't semantics.  I took you at your word. If you don't mean your words that is your problem not mine. 

melovesproles

Pondering wrote:

Capitalism is democracy. Nothing could be more democratic than someone creating something or performing a service in trade for something else.  We replaced bartering with a symbol, money. Capitalism isn't the problem.

A lot of BS here. What you describe isn't Capitalism and it certainly isn't how our economy works outside of maybe Etsty. 

Also you are repeating a fairytale (Barter beget Money) told in economics classes that has zero evidence supporting it.

The Myth of the Barter Economy

But various anthropologists have pointed out that this barter economy has never been witnessed as researchers have traveled to undeveloped parts of the globe. “No example of a barter economy, pure and simple, has ever been described, let alone the emergence from it of money,” wrote the Cambridge anthropology professor Caroline Humphrey in a 1985 paper. “All available ethnography suggests that there never has been such a thing.”

Humphrey isn’t alone. Other academics, including the French sociologist Marcel Mauss, and the Cambridge political economist Geoffrey Ingham have long espoused similar arguments.

When barter has appeared, it wasn’t as part of a purely barter economy, and money didn’t emerge from it—rather, it emerged from money. After Rome fell, for instance, Europeans used barter as a substitute for the Roman currency people had gotten used to. “In most of the cases we know about, [barter] takes place between people who are familiar with the use of money, but for one reason or another, don’t have a lot of it around,” explains David Graeber, an anthropology professor at the London School of Economics.

So if barter never existed, what did? Anthropologists describe a wide variety of methods of exchange—none of which are of the “two-cows-for-10-bushels-of-wheat” variety.

I do recommend David Graebner's book 'Debt: The first 5,000 Years' where he goes into this in detail. 

And Capitalism is the problem.

Edzell Edzell's picture

I'm just really, really thankful I haven't fallen for the idea that a dictionary written by someone, somewhere, can define what I - or you - actually mean by what we say. Communicative discussion depends on ascertaining & honouring the real meaning  intended by each involved individual. A degree of unbiased curiosity is required.

Edzell Edzell's picture

@Michael Moriarity: I understand your commentary in post 57 and agree that the kind of non-partisan candidates of high ethical standards that I'd like to elect, will never appear; but like all fantasy-desires my wish for them is unlikely to go away.

As for Chomsky, I admire his obvious intelligence and depth of thought but I confess I'm sometimes unsure exactly what he's getting at. I suspect if I had read more of his writings, been more of a 'disciple', I'd better understand his idiom - the more nuanced meanings to attach to some of his words & phrases.

 

 

 

NDPP

'I am not a token': Freeland Fires Back...

https://globalnews.ca/news/7957996/green-party-annamie-paul-freeland-tru...

"...I'm a proud feminist who serves in a feminist government with a feminist Prime Minister."

And the farmer hauled another load away.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Anamie Paul's statements sound more & more as if Donald Trump writes them for her.

Ken Burch

Edzell wrote:

Anamie Paul's statements sound more & more as if Donald Trump writes them for her.

Here is the GPC Facebook page:

(1) Green Party of Canada | Facebook

 

...I think there are at least THREE posters there who are sockpuppets of either Paul, Zatzman, or both.  

Check the posts of the following "people":

"Jude Abrams"

"Christopher Lirette"

"Sue Foley-Curie"

"Steve Hirchak"

"Kelly King"

They are all doing nothing but repetitive "hasbara"like talking points.

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Capitalism is democracy.

Many very capitalistic countries have not been democratic. Singapore and Hong Kong quickly come to mind.

Pondering

The grand majority of people support capitalism because the alternative is for all enterprises to be government owned unless you have a different definition of capitalism than the dictionary.  That's just as bad as people who want everything privatized. 

Ending capitalism even if it were possible would not end exploitation and abuse by powerful people. It would just happen under a different system. So far social democracies seem to be the most successful and they are capitalist. 

It can be fun to imagine a radically different world in which there is no capitalism but I don't need a crystal ball to know that will not happen in my lifetime nor anyone else alive today. Nor will all housing be socialized. I hope we get to a point at which everyone is entitled to decent housing and companies must share profits with workers but I don't have a problem with private companies building better or larger homes and selling them to richer people. I have no problem with people being richer than I am. 

Someone, I think you, spoke of the sixties and seventies as the golden age of capitalism but it could come back stronger than ever in Canada over the next 20 years, and in the US as well.  

There is no gold standard anymore. Money mostly exists digitally. It isn't even printed anymore. It is worth whatever powerful people decide it is worth. Just bringing in maximum compensation for executives based on a ratio of the lowest paid worker would be huge and I don't foresee even that happening anytime soon. 

At any other time in history shutting down the tourism industry would have been worse than the great Depression.  Tourism represents 6.5% of Canada's GDP, in comparison oil, natural gas, and electricity combined represents 10% of our GDP.  Some individuals have suffered serious financial harm but overall the economy is fine even if inflation is high. That is because powerful people fixed the system so that it can't fail, or if it is failing there are mechanisms to save it. Capitalism is not going to implode and we can't even convince Canadians to go with PR so I don't see them being convinced to end capitalism. People support pharmacare and basic income and are supportive of worker owned businesses and co-op housing and would support a multitude of other programs. Ending capitalism. Not so much. 

 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

So far social democracies seem to be the most successful and they are capitalist. 

I think most would consider a social democracy to be a mix of capitalism and socialism. AKA, a "mixed economy." I think a purely capitalist economy would have a government that just protects capital. The kind of economy people would not vote for democratically.

Pondering

JKR wrote:

Pondering wrote:

So far social democracies seem to be the most successful and they are capitalist. 

I think most would consider a social democracy to be a mix of capitalism and socialism. AKA, a "mixed economy." I think a purely capitalist economy would have a government that just protects capital. The kind of economy people would not vote for democratically.

Yes, and it is a form of capitalism, the thing people are arguing should no longer exist in any form. I am 100% in favor of massively expanding the social part of social democracy and I think that sentiment is widespread and mainstream. There is lots of support for basic income which would go a long way to putting us on a path to social justice. 

To argue for or predict total financial meltdown in the belief that it will destroy capitalism defies logic. If anything capitalism would go into overdrive as it would be every man for himself. The fight for action on climate change would be over. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Yes, and it is a form of capitalism, the thing people are arguing should no longer exist in any form.

How many people are arguing that private ownership should no longer exist in any form?

Pondering

JKR wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Yes, and it is a form of capitalism, the thing people are arguing should no longer exist in any form.

How many people are arguing that private ownership should no longer exist in any form?

Everyone saying that capitalism and democracy are incompatible, assuming we want democracy. If someone says they are anti-socialism I respond does that mean you are against medicare because medicare is socialist. It follows that if someone is anti-capitalist they are against all private ownership of businesses. It's an extreme position and it is not at all democratic. 

If capitalism and democracy are incompatible then the right wing is correct, socialism and democracy are even more incompatible. 

The truth is neither are incompative with democracy. 

queenmandy85

A political party has one main task, - advance its electoral position. ie., get more MP's elected. The leader of a political party has one main task,- to advance the electoral standing of the party. Ms. Paul needs to ask herself, is she fulfilling that responsibility.

Politics is a sport. When a Blue Jays player is in a slump, should the Yankees pitcher throw some easy pitches to let the batter get a few home runs? Neither should the Green Party leader expect the Grits to not take advantage of her situation. Prime Minister Trudeau has a duty to advance the electoral fortunes of the Liberal Party.

The NDP does better when they remember the goal is to win elections. Ideology is an impediment to winning. 

queenmandy85

jerrym wrote:

 

  Trudeau himself now says his goal is net zero emissions by 2050 at the same time he has been supporting Keystone until Biden ended it, doubling Line 3 from Alberta to Manitoba and on to the US where it is facing growing indigenous and environmentalist protests, supporting continuing Line 5 through Michigan against local opposition, pushing the Energy East pipeline until it threatened its Quebec MPs winning their ridings, proposing building another pipeline to run from Ontario to the Saguenay for export to Europe and the rest of the world until the finances collapsed, allowing exploration wells that have already tested positive twice for a new oilfield off the Newfoundland coast, providing the money to finish a oil processing plant that the company saw as unviable in Newfoundland and providing another $300 million for further exploration off Newfoundland, and being in the process of redefining greenhouse gas emissions to make them appear lower than they actually are.

The Trudeau Liberal government knows how to talk about indigneous issues for electoral purposes but has failed to act on key indigenous demands, including running pipelines through First Nations without their consent, failing to solve the boil water advisories on many First Nations communities after six years in power, and opposing First Nations court cases decisions awarding money even after they win at the Supreme Court.  The Trudeau Liberals are denying any legal responsibility for damage to First Nations cultures from removing indigenous children from their families and culture. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/reparations-residential-school-1.6050501) Closer to home, will Atwin say anything challenging the Liberal government on Mi'kmaq fishing rights, especially when 72% of Canadians "say the best path forward in the Mi’kmaq fishing dispute is to make sure that Indigenous fishing rights are respected" (https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/72-per-cent-of-canadians-say-mi-kmaq-fishi...)

What are the odds of her speaking out against the Trudeau Liberals on any of these issues and what happens to her if she does? Is she now just another 'good' Liberal MP?

After Prime Minister Mulroney formed a government, John Crosby famously told reporters, "If we told you what we were going to do, you wouldn't have voted for us." It sounds pretty cynical, but it is very insightful. Canadians are all in favour of fighting climate change until they realize it means transitioning from fossil fuels to nuclear power. Forget the fact that more people die in car accidents in one year in Saskatchewan than have died from nuclear power accidents world wide in the history of nuclear power generation. Canadians are all in favour of resolving the many issues with the First Nations, until the government actually does something about it. Thats when the voters lower the hammer. (Kelowna Accord?)

I view these realities with horror but that doesn't make them any less real.

melovesproles

Pondering wrote:

unless you have a different definition of capitalism than the dictionary.

Yeah, Capitalism is more complex than what is described in a sentence long dictionary definition. I'm surprised you think human knowledge starts and stops in a dictionary. There are other ways of understanding things, like for example looking at history.

Pondering wrote:

The grand majority of people support capitalism.

That’s objectively false if you look at the views of Millennials. It isn’t hard to see why. 

Pondering wrote:

Ending capitalism even if it were possible would not end exploitation and abuse by powerful people. It would just happen under a different system.

Proponents of slavery made similar "arguments". Potential speculative future exploitation doesn't excuse real current exploitation.

Pondering wrote:

It can be fun to imagine a radically different world in which there is no capitalism but I don't need a crystal ball to know that will not happen in my lifetime nor anyone else alive today.

I was pretty explicit about saying what I thought should be short-term goals but yes ending Capitalism should be the long-term goal because those short-term gains will be rolled back in a Capitalist system.

Also, what we think is possible can undergo dramatic rapid changes during crises so I don't put a lot of weight in predictive abilities about these paradigm shifts. And crises in Capitalism are becoming increasingly frequent (again).

Pondering wrote:

Nor will all housing be socialized.

I never said all housing would be socialized but I think there will be an increasingly strong push to make housing a right and not a commodity. Step outside the internet and blast off in public about how Proportional Rep won’t change anything and very few people will challenge you. Tell a group of people without homes or an auditorium of millennials that capitalism is democracy and that is why they will never have their own home and see what happens.

Pondering wrote:

That is because powerful people fixed the system so that it can't fail, or if it is failing there are mechanisms to save it.

Depends what you consider failure to be. They keep having to “fix” it every few years but in practice that “fix” always has the same results: increasing inequality and instability. A grand success!

Pondering wrote:

To argue for or predict total financial meltdown in the belief that it will destroy capitalism defies logic. If anything capitalism would go into overdrive as it would be every man for himself.

That’s already happening. What do you call government bailouts to banks and corporations owned and managed by the richest percentile who then do stock buybacks and give themselves raises? Everyone working together for the common good?

I’m not arguing for a financial meltdown. I’m saying we keep having them with increasing regularity and with each one we see a consolidation of wealth and widening inequality. That’s a recipe for more instability. I’ve already said I believe in cooperating with Social Democrats and Liberals to the extent we can all agree on the need to shackle the most powerful and to transform essential commodities into rights. But I think ignoring the trajectory of Capitalism is foolish and I’m not surprised when supporters of Capitalism piously recite that it as a natural evolution from a barter system and parrot platitudes about individual liberty. That’s a creation myth and there is as much evidence for this view of history as for the Lord creating the world in 7 days. It’s even more baseless really since it takes an active denial of evidence and historical data on how Capitalism developed and the violence and state power that was involved. It's always been about seizing public goods and "privatizing" them.

Pondering wrote:

The fight for action on climate change would be over.

You seriously think a system that requires perpetual growth is going to avoid environmental collapse? Are you one of those who thinks buying and selling the right to pollute is going to prevent climate change? 

Pondering wrote:

Someone, I think you spoke of the sixties and seventies as the golden age of capitalism but it could come back stronger than ever in Canada over the next 20 years, and in the US as well.

No, that was when it ended. It is generally considered to have started post WW2 up to early 70s during the Bretton Woods period. There are a lot of caveats on how golden it was including being more golden for some (white men) and dependent on a military industrial complex driven economy. There were also contextual reasons true then which are not in place now: a) lack of competition due to all of the other Capitalist powers having their productive capacities blown to bits b)a rival power with an economic system that championed economic equality (largely in propaganda but also in some real ways). In some ways China does fill this role now in how successfully it has reduced poverty and in how it resists opening up its Capital markets and privatizing its key sectors. Which is not unrelated to why Western propaganda is increasingly anti-China.

Still the golden age had some features that it’s hard not to be a little nostalgic for:

  • A strong focus on regulating banking and preventing “hot” money from sluicing around the global economy after the disruptions this caused including two world wars.
  • Anti-trust legislation that was actually enforced to constrain Capitalism’s tendency towards creating monopolies and cartels.
  • Relatively powerful labour movement with high levels of unionization.

This all led to shrinking inequality and burgeoning democratic movements. It also led to stagflation and a Capitalist class that responded by attacking democracy and destroying government regulation and labour power. This wasn’t just a Conservative right wing assault either. A lot of the deregulation started under Carter, and Clinton/Blair were as important in cementing the neoliberal project as Reagan and Thatcher. Capitalists were and have been united on this.

queenmandy85

What has this to do with the trouble in the Green Party?

melovesproles

queenmandy85 wrote:

What has this to do with the trouble in the Green Party?

What do car accidents in Saskatchewan and John Crosby have to do with the troubles in the Green Party?

queenmandy85

melovesproles wrote:

queenmandy85 wrote:

 

What has this to do with the trouble in the Green Party?

What do car accidents in Saskatchewan and John Crosby have to do with the troubles in the Green Party?

Fair point. 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Post 77, along with the preceding sequence to which I contributed, was definitely thread drift, but here on babble, digression is the source of a lot of good writing. Such as 77, which I think is one of the best posts I've seen in ages.

JKR

Pondering wrote:

Everyone saying that capitalism and democracy are incompatible, assuming we want democracy. If someone says they are anti-socialism I respond does that mean you are against medicare because medicare is socialist. It follows that if someone is anti-capitalist they are against all private ownership of businesses. It's an extreme position and it is not at all democratic. 

If capitalism and democracy are incompatible then the right wing is correct, socialism and democracy are even more incompatible. 

The truth is neither are incompative with democracy. 

Maybe democracy is only compatible with a proper mix of both socialism and capitalism? Maybe democracy is incompatible with both extreme capitalism and extreme socialism? Maybe democracy requires a "golden mean" between socialism and capitalism? Of course this begs the question of what the right mix should be. The right wants more capitalism and less socialism while the left wants more socialism and less capitalism. As things stand now the social democratic countries in Northern Europe seem to have the best mix. Countries like Taiwan and Singapore also seem to be coming up with good innovations.

bekayne

queenmandy85 wrote:

After Prime Minister Mulroney formed a government, John Crosby famously told reporters, "If we told you what we were going to do, you wouldn't have voted for us."

Tiny quibble, he said that before voting day. It was used in anti-Mulroney attack ads.

Ken Burch

Pondering wrote:

The grand majority of people support capitalism because the alternative is for all enterprises to be government owned unless you have a different definition of capitalism than the dictionary.

Actually, more and more of the Left now define socialism as an economy made up of democratically-managed worker collectives and cooperatives, formed when needed into networks of cooperatives in order to address economies of scale and make large-scale acquisition of materials and distribution of goods and services possible...the vision implicit in Marx's assertion that the workers must control the means of production- which we should now update to saying that the workers should control all workplaces.

The goal in the end was always workers' control, not bureaucratic state ownership.  Bureaucratic state control was always a detour away from the destination of a democratic economy in which no one is exploited, disrespected, devalued or discarded as "deadwood".

There are very few things in life or in the economy we have to run either bureatically or solely for the short-term individual self-interest of the few.  

And if we're going to live most of our lives in some sort of workplace, we should all have a say in how that workplace is run.

 

kropotkin1951

To sum up Ken; the syndicalists have had the right idea for nearly a century and a half. Eco-socialists look to places in Spain for some hope and direction. As for the idea that, "property is theft", Proudhon has not become a well known writer, even in left wing circles.

If I were asked to answer the following question: What is slavery? and I should answer in one word, It is murder!, my meaning would be understood at once. No extended argument would be required to show that the power to remove a man's mind, will, and personality, is the power of life and death, and that it makes a man a slave. It is murder. Why, then, to this other question: What is property? may I not likewise answer, It is robbery!, without the certainty of being misunderstood; the second proposition being no other than a transformation of the first?

— Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?

Pondering

JKR wrote:

Maybe democracy is only compatible with a proper mix of both socialism and capitalism? Maybe democracy is incompatible with both extreme capitalism and extreme socialism? Maybe democracy requires a "golden mean" between socialism and capitalism? Of course this begs the question of what the right mix should be. The right wants more capitalism and less socialism while the left wants more socialism and less capitalism. As things stand now the social democratic countries in Northern Europe seem to have the best mix. Countries like Taiwan and Singapore also seem to be coming up with good innovations.

You have it exactly right. I think we are far from an acceptable balance between the two but before we get anywhere near the right balance we have to democratize politics. I am hopeful that the climate crisis will lay heavily on the shoulders of the Liberals, Conservatives and big money. 

The key to change as always begins with public demand. The majority of Canadians support pharmacare but they aren't ready to demand it. The majority of Canadians are concerned about income inequality and climate change but aren't ready to demand change. At least not loudly enough to force political action. The federal government had the right to force Energy East through Quebec. Politically it could not be done because Quebecers, not just their politicians, wouldn't stand for it. Politicans can be forced to accept the will of the people if it is strong enough.

The trick is to motivate people as strongly as Quebecers are motivated against Energy East. When enough people demand change politicians have no choice but to comply. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

You have it exactly right. I think we are far from an acceptable balance between the two but before we get anywhere near the right balance we have to democratize politics. I am hopeful that the climate crisis will lay heavily on the shoulders of the Liberals, Conservatives and big money. 

How are we supposed to "democratize politics?"

I'm beginning to wonder if the right to air-conditioning will soon have to become a basic human necessity for a healthy life for billions of people and I don't think the planet can survive billions of people requiring air conditioning. I think Covid has shown that humans cannot think of others well enough and we will have to overcome a steep learning curve in order to survive as a species. Our response to Covid indicates that our species may be in for a very rude awakening during the next half century.

Ken Burch

kropotkin1951 wrote:

To sum up Ken; the syndicalists have had the right idea for nearly a century and a half. Eco-socialists look to places in Spain for some hope and direction. As for the idea that, "property is theft", Proudhon has not become a well known writer, even in left wing circles.

If I were asked to answer the following question: What is slavery? and I should answer in one word, It is murder!, my meaning would be understood at once. No extended argument would be required to show that the power to remove a man's mind, will, and personality, is the power of life and death, and that it makes a man a slave. It is murder. Why, then, to this other question: What is property? may I not likewise answer, It is robbery!, without the certainty of being misunderstood; the second proposition being no other than a transformation of the first?

— Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property?

Indeed.  And it is important to note that, by "Property", Proudhon would have meant "large landed estates" or factories- he would not have gone along with the later Stalinist/Maoist delusion that "property" meant ANY physical object- i.e. that the state should own your toothbrush, and possibly your teeth.

Edzell Edzell's picture

I agree with the general observation that most Canadians (in common with most people everywhere) will vote for whoever promises to fulfil the greatest number of their desires, without seriously considering whether the promises can or will be fulfilled.

A statement like "Canadians are all in favour of fighting climate change until they realize it means transitioning from fossil fuels to nuclear power" is a non sequitur doing nothing to reinforce that obsevation. It is a personal hypothesis based on a very questionable assumption, presented as fact but with which many would disagree; viz. that fighting climate change necessarily means transition to nuclear power.

kropotkin1951

Pondering wrote:

The trick is to motivate people as strongly as Quebecers are motivated against Energy East. When enough people demand change politicians have no choice but to comply. 

The key is to live in Central Canada, where governments are made or lost. I live in an area of the country where we send 7 MP's to parliament, five NDP and 2 Greens. Those two parties in 2019 polled 58%. I am not sure how I am supposed to affect change when all our MP's are already neither Conservative or Liberal. It is you and other Central Canadian voters who must elect a progressive government, we are already doing our part.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_federal_election_results_on_Vanco...

queenmandy85

We could ration energy, which would reduce employment, transportation and food consumption. Step one is to drastically reduce the burning of fossil fuels world wide. How do you accomplish that without causing a lot of hardship. Wind generation and solar power are a start, but how much farm land will you transition to solar farms? How many more rivers and salmon runs will you dam up for Hyrdro? Thorium is still a few years off but it is our best long term alternative. Can anyone here suggest an alternative to unranium as a bridge until we can get thorium reactors on line. In a few years we will need to provide power to 10 billion people. 

While climate change is the terminal crisis we face, we also need to remember the fossil products we are consuming today also need to support future generations. We are supported by the three pillers of coal, iron ore and oil. Without those tree items, you cannot generate electricity or operate any machinery.  You need coal and iron to make steel and oil to lubricate machinery. When they run out, we will be back in the neolithic era. 

Pondering

First, thank you for taking the time to respond in detail.  Checking the Wikipedia entry gives me the same definition and more as it breaks down various types of capitalism. I am in favor of an ever increasing social capitalism which is as per Wikipedia:

A social market economy is a free-market or mixed-market capitalist system, sometimes classified as a coordinated market economy, where government intervention in price formation is kept to a minimum, but the state provides significant services in areas such as social security, health care, unemployment benefits and the recognition of labor rights through national collective bargaining arrangements.

I think the grand majority of Canadians not just Millennials support the above which is a form of capitalism.

I’ve tried to get into history but the only kind that interests me is art history. I cannot tell you how many times I have looked up the word neoliberalism. I have to look it up every time I use it to make sure I know what I am saying. On the other hand I only had to find out once that Oxide Black and Mars Black are the same pigment, PBk11. Lamp black, bone black and carbon black are all PBk7 and weigh much less than Oxide/Mars. All white pigments are heavy. I love colour therefore I love pigment therefore I remember information about pigments. I only had to see 5th position in ballroom once to commit it to memory because it differs from 5th position ballet which I learned as a child.

When I read about history it’s all this guy did this and that guy did that and everyone is evil and people torture other people. History is horrific. It gives me nightmares and makes me despair for the world. It’s very repetitive anyway. I do regret not remembering certain things that someone here will know. There is a philosopher or something like that whom people like Harper and I think Bush are students of. He defends the need to lie to the public on the basis that leaders are smarter than the common man. The name starts with an S and might be something like Swartz, that might even be it, or not. Straus maybe? I think I remember, Leo Straus except it is two s’s. “Drury argues that Strauss teaches that "perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what's good for them." I learned about him here.

I have learned some history from Kropotkin (here) about BC and the national railway and about Canadian military action. It’s not that I am entirely disinterested it just has to relate to the present in some way.

There is that thing going on now about confirmation bias because people are in news silos or something to that effect.  I think activists are sometimes in a type of silo in that you know how to talk to each other, but not to people who are not into history or politics. Activist types have very high expectations of people in terms of general knowledge and I think are frustrated by the disinterest. 

To be cont.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Quote:
"Step one (in fighting climate change) is to drastically reduce the burning of fossil fuels world wide. How do you accomplish that without causing a lot of hardship"

You can't. Change is hard. Our luxurious consumerist lifestyle is obscene and there is no way out that doesn't involve accepting either hardship or massive risk. I would choose the first. But it's likely too late anyway; past the tipping point. Who you vote for may ultimately be irrelevant.

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Edzell wrote:

<snip>Change is hard. Our luxurious consumerist lifestyle is obscene and there is no way out that doesn't involve accepting either hardship or massive risk. I would choose the first. But it's likely too late anyway; past the tipping point. Who you vote for may ultimately be irrelevant.

Sadly, I think this is correct. I might just quibble a bit about the definition of "hardship". People living in a more sharing but less opulent world might have a lower "standard of living", but a higher degree of satisfaction with their lives.

NDPP

Introduction to the book Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet (and vid)

https://youtu.be/19-PXM5tzfU

" ... If space-aliens came down from outer-space and they were doing to the planet what the dominant culture is doing, what forms would our resistance take?"

kropotkin1951

Edzell wrote:

Quote:
"Step one (in fighting climate change) is to drastically reduce the burning of fossil fuels world wide. How do you accomplish that without causing a lot of hardship"

You can't. Change is hard. Our luxurious consumerist lifestyle is obscene and there is no way out that doesn't involve accepting either hardship or massive risk. I would choose the first. But it's likely too late anyway; past the tipping point. Who you vote for may ultimately be irrelevant.

By far the largest single source of fossil fuel consumption is the military in NATO and its allies. If we ended war we could solve climate change easily. There is no way to solve climate change when our resources are being spent playing war games on every continent and in every ocean.

jerrym

queenmandy85

Canadians are all in favour of fighting climate change until they realize it means transitioning from fossil fuels to nuclear power. Forget the fact that more people die in car accidents in one year in Saskatchewan than have died from nuclear power accidents world wide in the history of nuclear power generation.

queenmandy85

We could ration energy, which would reduce employment, transportation and food consumption. Step one is to drastically reduce the burning of fossil fuels world wide. How do you accomplish that without causing a lot of hardship. Wind generation and solar power are a start, but how much farm land will you transition to solar farms? How many more rivers and salmon runs will you dam up for Hyrdro? Thorium is still a few years off but it is our best long term alternative. Can anyone here suggest an alternative to unranium as a bridge until we can get thorium reactors on line. In a few years we will need to provide power to 10 billion people. 

The first comment made me suspect that more would be coming on the wonders of nuclear power and that Saskatchewan might be involved since picking Saskatchewan out of the blue for a statistic on car accidents seemed strange. In fact, the Moe government, along with the Conservative governments of Ontario and New Brunswick, is pushing a small nuclear reactor industry "as Saskatchewan produces much of the world's uranium". However, there are lots of questions about the costs, the length of time it would take to come on line, and most important its safety. 

The Saskatchewan government is continuing its push for nuclear power, announcing Wednesday the establishment of an office to aid in the planning and development of small modular reactors in the province. The government said its new nuclear secretariat will "co-ordinate nuclear policy and program work within the Climate Change & Adaptation Division in the Ministry of Environment." ...

Small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) can produce electricity in the range of 50 to 300 megawatts, can be small enough to fit in a school gymnasium (who would want one there?) and are transportable. ...

In December 2019, Saskatchewan signed a memorandum of understanding with Ontario and New Brunswick to co-ordinate efforts to get reactors operational across Canada. ...

But nuclear chemist and Saskatchewan Environmental Society board member Ann Coxworth said it would take several decades for these nuclear reactors to be operational in Saskatchewan.

"We have much cheaper, safer, faster-to-put-in-place options that would be much wiser to invest in," Coxworth said.

Some environmentalists have voiced concerns about radioactive waste and the immediacy of the technology being operational when it is touted as a tool to fight climate change.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/sask-nuclear-power-1.5625487

jerrym

queenmandy85

Canadians are all in favour of fighting climate change until they realize it means transitioning from fossil fuels to nuclear power. Forget the fact that more people die in car accidents in one year in Saskatchewan than have died from nuclear power accidents world wide in the history of nuclear power generation.

The available data on car accident deaths in Saskatchewan and nuclear energy industry deaths do not back up your statement. 

SGI says preliminary statistics show 87 people died from vehicle crashes Saskatchewan in 2020, the second fewest recorded in the past 60 years. In 2019, 71 people died — a record low. The previous record was 73 deaths in 1951. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/87-road-fatalities-saskatche...)

The number of deaths attributable to the nuclear industry vary depending on the source but they number well into the thousands according to many sources. Wikipedia gives the following numbers for just three of the many nuclear accidents. 

Estimates of the total number of deaths potentially resulting from the Chernobyl disaster vary enormously: A UNSCEAR report proposes 45 total confirmed deaths from the accident as of 2008.[1] This number includes 2 non-radiation related fatalities from the accident itself, 28 fatalities from radiation doses in the immediate following months and 15 fatalities due to thyroid cancer likely caused by iodine-131 contamination; it does not include 19 additional individuals initially diagnosed with acute radiation syndrome who had also died as of 2006, but who are not believed to have died due to radiation doses.[26] The World Health Organization (WHO) suggested in 2006 that cancer deaths could reach 4,000 among the 600,000 most heavily exposed people, a group which includes emergency workers, nearby residents, and evacuees, but excludes residents of low-contaminated areas.[27] A 2006 report, commissioned by the German political party The Greens and sponsored by the Altner Combecher Foundation, predicted 30,000 to 60,000 cancer deaths as a result of worldwide Chernobyl fallout by assuming a linear no-threshold model for very low doses.[28] A Greenpeace report puts this figure at 200,000 or more.[29] A disputed Russian publication, Chernobyl, concludes that 985,000 premature deaths occurred worldwide between 1986 and 2004 as a result of radioactive contamination from Chernobyl.[30]

The Kyshtym disaster, which occurred at Mayak in Russia on 29 September 1957, was rated as a level 6 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the third most severe incident after Chernobyl and Fukushima. Because of the intense secrecy surrounding Mayak, it is difficult to estimate the death toll of Kyshtym. One book claims that "in 1992, a study conducted by the Institute of Biophysics at the former Soviet Health Ministry in Chelyabinsk found that 8,015 people had died within the preceding 32 years as a result of the accident."[31] By contrast, only 6,000 death certificates have been found for residents of the Tech riverside between 1950 and 1982 from all causes of death,[32] though perhaps the Soviet study considered a larger geographic area affected by the airborne plume. The most commonly quoted estimate is 200 deaths due to cancer, but the origin of this number is not clear. More recent epidemiological studies suggest that around 49 to 55 cancer deaths among riverside residents can be associated to radiation exposure.[32] This would include the effects of all radioactive releases into the river, 98% of which happened long before the 1957 accident, but it would not include the effects of the airborne plume that was carried north-east.[33] The area closest to the accident produced 66 diagnosed cases of chronic radiation syndrome, providing the bulk of the data about this condition.[14]:15–29

The Windscale fire resulted when uranium metal fuel ignited inside plutonium production piles; surrounding dairy farms were contaminated.[34][35] The severity of the incident was covered up at the time by the UK government, as Prime Minister Harold Macmillan feared that it would harm British nuclear relations with America, and so original reports on the disaster and its health impacts were subject to heavy censorship.[8] The severity of the radioactive fallout was played down, and the release of a highly dangerous isotope during the fire, Polonium-210, was covered up at the time.[36]

Partly because of this, consensus on the precise number of cancer deaths caused in the long term as a result of the radiation leak has changed over time as more information on the incident has come to light.[37] Taking into account the impact of the release of Polonium-210 for the first time, a 1983 UK government report estimated at least 33 cancer fatalities as a result of the incident.[38][34][35] An updated 1988 UK government report estimated that 100 fatalities "probably" resulted from cancers as a result of the releases over 40 to 50 years.[4][5] In 2007, the 50-year anniversary of the fire, new academic research into the health effects of the incident was published by Richard Wakeford, a visiting Professor at the University of Manchester's Dalton Nuclear Institute, and by former UK Atomic Energy Authority researcher, John Garland.[7] Their study concluded that because the actual amount of radiation released in the fire could be double the previous estimates, and that the radioactive plume actually travelled further east, there were 100 to 240 cancer fatalities in the long term as a result of the fire.[8][7]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_and_radiation_accidents_by...

jerrym

The number of deaths from nuclear energy will never be exactly known because of the wide-ranging and long-delayed observable impacts but another article from the well respected BBC raises questions about that the number of deaths that resulted from the Chernobyl accident is much more than admitted in an industry that has often hidden its or at least minimized its accidents. The staggering number of people involved in the nuclear accident cleanup, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, meant their efforts were not available for use elsewhere in the economy. Furthermore, there is substantial evidence that thousands of them had there lives shortened in the process as their death rates have been much higher than that of the Russian population. Hundreds of thousands were also relocated following the accident.

According to the official, internationally recognised death toll, just 31 people died as an immediate result of Chernobyl while the UN estimates that only 50 deaths can be directly attributed to the disaster. In 2005, it predicted a further 4,000 might eventually die as a result of the radiation exposure.

 Kate Brown's, a science historian at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), research, however, suggests Chernobyl has cast a far longer shadow.

In the weeks and months that followed the Chernobyl disaster, hundreds of thousands of firefighters, engineers, military troops, police, miners, cleaners and medical personnel were sent into the area immediately around the destroyed power plant in an effort to control the fire and core meltdown, and prevent radioactive material from spreading further into the environment.

These people – who became known as “liquidators” due to the official Soviet definition of “participant in liquidation of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident consequences” – were given a special status that meant they would receive benefits such as extra healthcare and payments. Official registries indicate that 600,000 people were granted liquidator status. ...

But a contentious report published by members of the Russian Academy of Sciences indicates that there could have been as many as 830,000 people in the Chernobyl clean-up teams. They estimated that between 112,000 and 125,000 of these – around 15% – had died by 2005. Many of the figures in the report, however, were disputed by scientists in the West, who questioned their scientific validity.

The Ukrainian authorities, however, kept a registry of their own citizens affected by the Chernobyl accident. In 2015 there were 318,988 Ukrainian clean-up workers on the database, although according to a recent report by the National Research Centre for Radiation Medicine in Ukraine, 651,453 clean-up workers were examined for radiation exposure between 2003 and 2007. A similar register in Belarus recorded 99,693 clean-up workers, while another registry including included 157,086 Russian liquidators.

In Ukraine, death rates among these brave individuals has soared, rising from 3.5 to 17.5 deaths per 1,000 people between 1988 and 2012. Disability among the liquidators has also soared. In 1988 68% of them were regarded healthy, while 26 years later just 5.5% were still healthy. Most – 63% – were reported to be suffering from cardiovascular and circulatory diseases while 13% had problems with their nervous systems. In Belarus, 40,049 liquidators were registered to have cancers by 2008 along with a further 2,833 from Russia.

Another group who bore the brunt of the radiation exposures in the hours and days after the explosion were those living in the nearby town of Pripyat and the surrounding area. It took a day and a half before the evacuation began and led to 49,614 people being evacuated. Later a further 41,986 people were evacuated from another 80 settlements in a 30km (18.7 mile) zone around the power plant, but ultimately some 200,000 people are thought to have been relocated as a result of the accident.

Some of those living closest to the power plant received internal radiation doses in their thyroid glands of up to 3.9Gy – roughly 37,000 times the dose of a chest x-ray – after breathing radioactive material and eating contaminated food. Doctors who have been studying the evacuees report that mortality among the evacuees has gradually increased, reaching a peak in 2008-2012 with 18 deaths per 1,000 people.

Brown has found evidence hidden in hospital records from around the time of the accident that show just how widespread problems were.

“In hospitals throughout the region and as far away as Moscow, people were flooding in with acute symptoms,” she says. “The accounts I have indicate at least 40,000 people were hospitalised in the summer after the accident, many of them women and children.”

Political pressure is widely thought to have led to the true picture of the problem to be suppressed by the Soviet authorities, who were keen not to lose face on the international stage. But following the collapse of the USSR and as people living in the areas that were exposed to radiation begin to present with a wide range of health problems, a far clearer picture of the toll taken by the disaster is emerging. ...

Viktor Sushko, deputy director general of the National Research Centre for Radiation Medicine (NRCRM) based in Kiev, Ukraine, describes the Chernobyl disaster as the “largest anthropogenic disaster in the history of humankind”. The NRCRM estimate around five million citizens of the former USSR, including three million in Ukraine, have suffered as a result of Chernobyl, while in Belarus around 800,000 people were registered as being affected by radiation following the disaster.

Even now the Ukrainian government is paying benefits to 36,525 women who are considered to be widows of men who suffered as a result of the Chernobyl accident.

As of January 2018, 1.8 million people in Ukraine, including 377,589 children, had the status of victims of the disaster, according to Sushko and his colleagues. There has been a rapid increase in the number of people with disabilities among this population, rising from 40,106 in 1995 to 107,115 in 2018. ...

Mortality rates in radiation contaminated areas have been growing progressively higher than the rest of the Ukraine. They peaked in 2007 when more than 26 people out of every 1,000 died compared to the national average of 16 for every 1,000.

In total some 150,000sq km (57,915 sq miles) of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine are considered to be contaminated and the 4,000sq km (1,544 sq miles) exclusion zone – an area more than twice the size of London – remains virtually uninhabited. ...

But radioactive fallout, carried by winds, scattered over much of the Northern Hemisphere. Within two days of the explosion, high levels of radiation were picked up in Swedenwhile contamination of plants and grasslands in Britain led to strict restrictions on the sale of lamb and other sheep products for years. ...

In areas of Western Europe hit by Chernobyl fallout there have also been indications that the rates of neoplasms – abnormal tissue growths that include cancers – have been higher than in areas that escaped contamination.

Establishing the links between radiation exposure and long-term health effects, however, is a difficult task. It can take years, even decades before cancers appear and attributing them to a particular cause can be difficult.

One recent study, however, identified problems in the genomes of children who were either exposed during the disaster, or were born to parents who were exposed. It found increased levels of damage and instability in their genomes.

“Genome instability represents a significant risk of cancer,” says Aleksandra Fučić, a genotoxicologist at the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health in Zagreb, Croatia. ...

Other studies have found higher mutation rates in non-coding regions of the genomein children who were born in Mogilev, Belarus – where the majority of the radiactive cloud from Chernobyl fell – after the disaster. ...

Fučić, however, says there have been other impacts of the disaster. Suicide rates among people involved in the clean up at Chernobyl are higher than in the general population. Studies have also found that people who reported living in the Chernobyl affected zones in Ukraine had higher rates of alcohol problems and poorer levels of mental health.

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190725-will-we-ever-know-chernobyls...

 

jerrym

Summarizing the reasons not to pursue nuclear energy Green America provided 10 reasons with comments on each one at the url below. 

1. Nuclear waste: The waste generated by nuclear reactors remains radioactive for tens to hundreds of thousands of years (1). Currently, there are no long-term storage solutions for radioactive waste, and most is stored in temporary, above-ground facilities. These facilities are running out of storage space, so the nuclear industry is turning to other types of storage that are more costly and potentially less safe (2).

2. Nuclear proliferation: There is great concern that the development of nuclear energy programs increases the likelihood of proliferation of nuclear weapons. As nuclear fuel and technologies become globally available, the risk of these falling into the wrong hands is increasingly present. To avoid weapons proliferation, it is important that countries with high levels of corruption and instability be discouraged from creating nuclear programs, and the US should be a leader in nonproliferation by not pushing for more nuclear power at home (3).

3. National security Nuclear power plants are a potential target for terrorist operations. An attack could cause major explosions, putting population centers at risk, as well as ejecting dangerous radioactive material into the atmosphere and surrounding region. Nuclear research facilities, uranium enrichment plants, and uranium mines are also potentially at risk for attacks that could cause widespread contamination with radioactive material (9).

4. Accidents In addition to the risks posed by terrorist attacks, human error and natural disasters can lead to dangerous and costly accidents. The 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine led to the deaths of 30 employees in the initial explosion and has has had a variety of negative health effects on thousands across Russia and Eastern Europe. A massive tsunami bypassed the safety mechanisms of several power plants in 2011, causing three nuclear meltdowns at a power plant in Fukushima, Japan, resulting in the release of radioactive materials into the surrounding area. In both disasters, hundreds of thousands were relocated, millions of dollars spent, and the radiation-related deaths are being evaluated to this day. Cancer rates among populations living in proximity to Chernobyl and Fukushima, especially among children, rose significantly in the years after the accidents (4)(5).

5. Cancer risk In addition to the significant risk of cancer associated with fallout from nuclear disasters, studies also show increased risk for those who reside near a nuclear power plant, especially for childhood cancers such as leukemia (6)(7)(8). Workers in the nuclear industry are also exposed to higher than normal levels of radiation, and as a result are at a higher risk of death from cancer (10).

6. Energy production The 444 nuclear power plants currently in existence provide about 11% of the world’s energy (11). Studies show that in order to meet current and future energy needs, the nuclear sector would have to scale up to around 14,500 plants. Uranium, the fuel for nuclear reactors, is energy-intensive to mine, and deposits discovered in the future are likely to be harder to get to to. As a result, much of the net energy created would be offset by the energy input required to build and decommission plants and to mine and process uranium ore. The same is true for any reduction in greenhouse gas emissions brought about by switching from coal to nuclear (12).

7. Not enough sites Scaling up to 14,500 nuclear plants isn’t possible simply due to the limitation of feasible sites. Nuclear plants need to be located near a source of water for cooling, and there aren’t enough locations in the world that are safe from droughts, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, or other potential disasters that could trigger a nuclear accident. The increase in extreme weather events predicted by climate models only compounds this risk.

8. Cost Unlike renewables, which are now the cheapest energy sources, nuclear costs are on the rise, and many plants are being shut down or in danger of being shut down for economic reasons. Initial capital costs, fuel, and maintenance costs are much higher for nuclear plants than wind and solar, and nuclear projects tend to suffer cost overruns and construction delays. The price of renewable energy has fallen significantly over the past decade, and it projected to continue to fall (14).

9. Competition with renewables Investment in nuclear plants, security, mining infrastructure, etc. draws funding away from investment in cleaner sources such as wind, solar, and geothermal. Financing for renewable energy is already scarce, and increasing nuclear capacity will only add to the competition for funding.

10. Energy dependence of poor countries Going down the nuclear route would mean that poor countries, that don't have the financial resources to invest in and develop nuclear power, would become reliant on rich, technologically advanced nations. Alternatively, poor nations without experience in the building and maintaining of nuclear plants may decide to build them anyway. Countries with a history of nuclear power use have learned the importance of regulation, oversight, and investment in safety when it comes to nuclear. Dr. Peter Bradford of Vermont Law, a former member of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, writes, "A world more reliant on nuclear power would involve many plants in countries that have little experience with nuclear energy, no regulatory background in the field and some questionable records on quality control, safety and corruption." (15). The U.S. should lead by example and encourage poor countries to invest in safe energy technology.

https://www.greenamerica.org/fight-dirty-energy/amazon-build-cleaner-clo...

NDPP

The Greens are Eating Themselves

https://readpassage.com/p/the-greens-are-eating-themselves/

"Trying to figure out what's happened to the federal Green party these past couple weeks? You're not along. The party seems to have imploded. Let's sift through the details..."

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