India Wants to Tackle Climate Change with the Risk of Increased Nuclear Power?

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A few days after President Trump announced that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the Paris agreement on climate change, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a state visit to France where he emphasized India’s continued commitment to the 2015 accord by saying “we will work and walk together with others to leave a gift for future generations.”1

The article continues to describe India’s desire to make its “Made in India” campaign realized partially through its development of nuclear power.  The nation is behind in its ability to produce nuclear power as it is still recovering from the 32-year ban the world placed on India prohibiting it from buying nuclear fuel and technology for civilian purposes.  The ban was initiated as a result of its testing a nuclear weapon in 1974.

Putting all of the political reasons and climate change theories aside, there should be one monumental question overriding everything in this issue:  Why is a densely populated country like India willing to gamble with a potentially cataclysmic accident?  Or has the world forgotten Chernobyl?

The  Distressing  Data  from  Chernobyl

April 26, 1986 Chernobyl:  The nuclear power disaster killed 30 workers at the time of the explosion or those who died within months due to radiation exposure.  The World Health Organization projects 9,000 total deaths as a result of this calamity if it parallels the results of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in 1945.  Greenpeace suggests it could go as high as 90,000.  Three hundred fifty thousand people were impacted by the initial evacuation and resettlement.About 1,000 square miles continue to be restricted areas.3  High levels of radiation are expected to make the area uninhabitable anywhere from 180 to 320 years.  Birth defects in Belarus and Ukraine near Chernobyl have been significantly higher.Cleanup of the site is scheduled for 2065.5

If  This  Happened  in  India

The nuclear power plant in Hazira is running at about 20% capacity.1  It is not India’s biggest plant, but let’s supposed a ramped up Hazira has a Chernobyl misfortune.

The city of Hazira is only 65 square miles, so we need to look at its Surat district within the state of Gujarat to compare for population density.  This district is 4,418 square kilometers in size or roughly 1,700 square miles (or close enough to use for similarity).  Its population density is 1,376 per square kilometer6  or about 3,564 people per square mile.

If this plant were to contaminate a Chernobyl-sized area of 1,000 square miles, at least 3-1/2 million people (approx. the combined populations of Chicago and San Francisco)7 would be displaced in addition to the thousands of deaths and life-changing impacts on many more in surrounding areas.  Is nuclear power really the best option for India’s in its attempt to show its resolve in addressing climate change?

 

1 – “India’s Nuclear Industry Needs a Jolt,” edited by Cristina Lindblad, Bloomberg Businessweek, 6/12-18/2017.

2 – “Chernobyl: 30 Years Later, By The Numbers,” by the Associated Press, https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2016-04-25/a-look-at-the-1986-chernobyl-nuclear-disaster-in-numbers, 4/25/2016.

3 –  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_Exclusion_Zone

4 – “Area around Chernobyl remains uninhabitable 25 years later,” by Doug Saunders, The Globe and Mail,https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/area-around-chernobyl-remains-uninhabitable-25-years-later/article4266317/, published 3/15/2011, last updated 8/23/2012.

5https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_Nuclear_Power_Plant

6https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surat_district

7 – July 1, 2014 estimated populations. https://www.infoplease.com/us/us-cities/top-50-cities-us-population-and-rank

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British Take Giant Leap Forward with Brexit!

Brexit vote

FoxNews 2:26 AM today

Yesterday’s historic decision by the British to leave the European Union brings hope to those who oppose the ever encroaching arm of mega-government.

It was a courageous action in the face of warnings from Prime Minister David Cameron that such a move would endanger their economy and their ability to defeat ISIS (as if the EU was doing a good job in these areas!).  It was also a satisfying snub of our President’s attempts to intimidate them into following the liberal agenda of increasing big government’s oppression over personal freedoms.1

Big governments aren’t the answer to big problems, they are often the source of the problems.2,3  Many hope that this vote to leave will encourage other EU nations, who are tired of the elite ruling class in Brussels calling the shots, to do the same.

It’s time that various peoples get their countries back!…. Does this sound familiar?  🙂  

 

1 – Obama infuriates the Brits as he threatens to send UK ‘to the back of the queue’ if they vote to leave the European Union,” by Francesca Chambers, Euan McClelland and Matt Dathan, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3553788/Obama-flies-Brexit-storm-President-faces-furious-backlash-downright-hypocritical-decision-tell-British-voters-stay-EU.html, 4/22/2016.

2 – “Reagan’s First Inaugural: ‘Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,” http://www.heritage.org/initiatives/first-principles/primary-sources/reagans-first-inaugural-government-is-not-the-solution-to-our-problem-government-is-the-problem

3 – “Socialization also presents dangers.  Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative.  The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which ‘a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.’” Paragraph 1883 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second addition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2000.

Speaking of “common good” – “The common good consists of three essential elements: respect for and promotion of the fundamental rights of the person; prosperity, or the development of the spiritual and temporal goods of society; the peace and security of the group and of its members.”  Paragraph 1925, Ibid.

 

The “Brexit” Choice: Short Term Pain for Long Term Stability?

 

British voters will go to the polls on Thursday for an issue possibly more important than choosing a prime minister as it will impact future prime ministers.

The issue:   to stay in the European Union or leave it.

The fear mongers against leaving will be convincing only if concerns for the immediate rule the day.  Yes, if Britain leaves, it must renegotiate trade deals with the countries it is separating from.  These new agreements could very well be less advantageous.  Also true, there may be some pullout of investment from current fellow EU comrades.

HOWEVER, the foolishness of the EU’s common currency (the “euro” which the UK would eventually need to adopt), is a far greater negative.  The euro joins many countries of varying levels of fiscal responsibility.  Several countries using the euro seem to believe that they can have their cake and eat it too.  As of last summer, six EU countries had debts greater than their GDP!  While the UK’s was ninth highest in the EU, hanging around with these rising debt nations only consoles them if they accept “misery loves company.”1  A few years ago, Germany was actually criticized for responsible managing of its trade balance.2  In addition, as of late last year, just eight EU nations had average working hours exceeding ours in the U.S. while fifteen worked fewer hours per week.3  Despite working less, several of those nations have well-known expectations of benefits which aggravate economic struggles.4

Britain has a chance to separate itself from an unsteady large ship known as the EU.

The choice is theirs.  They can stay with a modern day economic Titanic with its mesmerizing marketing glitter — and its fatal flaws.  Or, they can choose to guide their own smaller, less “cool” ship where rational decision-making is an everyday necessity.

If they choose this, they will be more likely to succeed because they will have their head on the wheel instead of partying on deck, blissfully ignoring of impending dangers.

If they stay, they will inevitably be dragged down with the rest of the EU because its reach is clearly beyond its wisdom… Besides, “President Obama sparked fury by pressuring UK to stay in the EU and telling its citizens their nation’s stranding (sic) would be diminished if it leaves… London Mayor Boris Johnson accused him of making an ‘incoherent’ and ‘inconsistent’ argument because the U.S. would never give up sovereignty.”5  Obama’s near-command for Britain to stay is a solid argument for them to leave the EU!

1 – “European debt crisis: It’s not just Greece that’s drowning in debt,” by Ashley Kirk, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece/11705720/European-debt-crisis-Its-not-just-Greece-thats-drowning-in-debt.html, 6/29/2015.

2 – “A Common Currency (Euro) is Europe’s Real Problem, Not Germany’s Trade Surplus,” https://cartaremi.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/a-common-currency-euro-is-europes-real-problem-not-germanys-trade-surplus/, 3/12/2013.

3 – “Americans Work Hard, Nut People in These 15 Countries Work Longer Hours,” by Benjamin Snyder and Stacy Jones, http://fortune.com/2015/11/11/chart-work-week-oecd/, 11/11/2015.

4 – “France’s unemployment benefits are among the most generous in Europe, payable even for net salaries of €6,959 (£5,021) per month. That may seem to favour high earners in a country where the average monthly net salary is just over €2,000, however a spokeswoman for UNEDIC, which administers the benefits says that less than 1,000 unemployed people receive the top amount, out of a total 2.6 million claimants. The current system, negotiated between unions and employers last year, kicks in after four months’ employment. Workers aged under 50 can claim unemployment benefit for two years, while those aged over 50 can claim for three years. On average, benefits are about 65% of employees’ salary… Compensation for sick leave in Norway is often described as the most generous in the world: employees receive 100% of salary from day one for up to a year. But sickness absence is high, seen as a symptom of hidden, structural unemployment. Almost 7% of the workforce are on sick leave at any given moment – by far the highest rate of work absence among full-time employees in the industrialised countries, the OECD says…” from “Which are the best countries in the world to live in if you unemployed or disabled,” by Anne Penketh, Kate Connolly, Stefanie Kirchgaessner, Henry McDonald, Justin McCurry, David Crouch, Shaun Walker, David Smith, Mary O’Hara and Anna Bawden, http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/15/which-best-countries-live-unemployed-disabled-benefits, 4/15/2015.

5 – Obama infuriates the Brits as he threatens to send UK ‘to the back of the queue’ if they vote to leave the European Union,” by Francesca Chambers, Euan McClelland and Matt Dathan, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3553788/Obama-flies-Brexit-storm-President-faces-furious-backlash-downright-hypocritical-decision-tell-British-voters-stay-EU.html, 4/22/2016.