Monday, December 21, 2015

Victory in Paris highlights a year of stunning setbacks for nuclear power – Let's keep it up in 2016! | Support NIRS!

December 20, 2015

Dear NIRS Supporter,

A few days ago, I got back home from the global climate change summit in France. It is more clear to me than ever that, despite all the odds, we are on the verge of winning the fight for a safe energy future. Yet again, the moral authority of people mobilizing around the world broke through to our leaders and forced them to do something they didn’t plan to do just a few days before: sign an agreement of nearly all the world’s nations with ambitious goals to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

And there is a piece of this we can own together. The first global climate agreement does not promote, endorse, or rely on nuclear power. Despite intense, incessant lobbying by the nuclear industry and the near-exclusion of anti-nuclear voices in the negotiations, our “Don’t Nuke the Climate!” message won the day.

At the climate conference, we watchdogged the negotiators, exposed the corporate corruption and lies, and delivered petitions from 524 organizations around the world opposed to nuclear power as a false solution to the climate crisis. And we joined the mass demonstrations in Paris on the last day of the summit, with a bright and visible presence.

Our job is not over. Far, far from it. Nuclear power promoters are going to keep on pushing in the coming years to divert the climate agreement into a radioactive free-for-all, both here in the U.S. and at the UN. There is also nothing in the treaty that prevents countries from going down the nuclear rabbit hole. But it’s clear we won this round.

Please support NIRS this holiday season and help ensure we win the next round too! Because we are a lean organization, your tax-deductible donation, of any size, doesn't cover bloated administrative costs--it goes where you want and need it to go: to our campaigns for a nuclear-free future.

With your help, we have had other important, hard-won victories this year. In August, not only did the EPA strip incentives for nuclear power out of the nation’s first real climate policy—the Clean Power Plan—it confirmed that renewable energy can replace nuclear power quickly and cheaply enough, and still reduce carbon emissions. The nuclear industry has hung its whole future on people believing the lie that nuclear power is our only hope to avert climate catastrophe. Getting the EPA to base America’s first real climate regulation on nuclear power was a fight they had to win. We stopped them in their tracks.

And the wave of reactor closures is growing! So far this fall, the permanent shutdowns of two more reactors were announced. Entergy says it will close its FitzPatrick reactor in New York in 2016, as well as the Pilgrim reactor near Boston as soon as 2017 or 2019. Along with closing Vermont Yankee at the end of last year, this means three dangerous Fukushima-style reactors are shutting down. NIRS has worked with grassroots groups to shut Vermont Yankee, FitzPatrick and Pilgrim for the last three years, and it proves what we can accomplish as a movement. With smart, strategic organizing and dogged grassroots activism, we can beat the nuclear industry and build a safe, sustainable energy future.

Nor have we forgotten about the other reasons nuclear never has been and never will be an acceptable “alternative” to fossil fuels. It is too dirty, and too dangerous.

We are gearing up for the big fight at the root of the industry: nuclear waste, the million-year legacy of a half-century of nuclear power. We mobilized thousands of people across the country this year to stop the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump in Nevada. For the fourth year in a row, we blocked Congress from pushing their even more dangerous alternative to Yucca: consolidated “parking lot” storage sites for nuclear waste.

This fall, we launched a major “Stop Fukushima Freeways!”campaign to block mass transportation of nuclear waste across the country. The industry’s push for one or both of these terrible ideas—Yucca Mountain or “parking lot” dumps—will be even more forceful in the coming years. Some expect nuclear waste dumping to become Congress’ next Keystone XL project for attacking environmentalists. So we are laying the groundwork for that fight now, and building networks of local groups across the country to oppose the transportation of nuclear waste through their communities.

Despite our victory on the Clean Power Plan, the industry still has our leaders’ ears at the very top levels of government. And they are keeping the door open for the nuclear industry’s dirty deals and radioactive schemes. Just before the global climate conference, the White House hosted a Nuclear Power Summit in Washington, pushing the fantasy of radioactive solutions to the climate crisis. And on the first day of the Paris conference, President Obama held a press conference with a team of nuclear investors to promote their bankrupt vision. Even though the “Nuclear Renaissance” has utterly failed, the industry has still convinced President Obama to waste billions of dollars on this disastrous technology.

The industry’s rhetoric is getting increasingly desperate and personal. Climate-scientist-cum-nuclear-power-promoter James Hansen visited Paris--not to amplify the call for urgent and immediate climate action--but to step up his calls for "next-generation" nuclear reactors and for donors to stop funding environmental groups that are anti-nuclear. That's us. The industry also rolled out a new front group called “Nuclear for Climate,” which handed out thousands of copies of a book attacking anti-nuclear activists and blaming us for the climate crisis.

Send the nuclear industry and its backers a message: we won't be intimidated. Support NIRS with your tax-deductible donation today.

Needless to say, their efforts to intimidate activists are backfiring. In fact, they have given us a clear sign of how close we are to winning. Greenpeace International’s Kumi Naidoo reminded activists in a speech last week—in which he broadened the call for divestment to include nuclear, as well as fossil fuels—of the famous adage attributed to Gandhi about the path to victory:

First they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they fight you.
And then you win.

While the nuclear industry’s shameless attacks are not proving effective, they are definitely not ignoring us or laughing at us. They are fighting us. And as long as we keep on fighting smarter, and harder, and with all of our passion and unity and vision for a safer, cleaner, sustainable and just world … we are going to win.

We look forward to celebrating more victories for a nuclear-free, carbon-free world with you in 2016. We rely on both your activism and your financial support to achieve these victories--we can't do it without both. We gratefully appreciate every donation, of any size, you can give us at the end of this year, to make sure we hit the ground running in the New Year.

No Nukes!

Tim Judson
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

P.S. If you'd like to donate using PayPal, please use our Razoo fundraising site here. And if you'd prefer to donate by check, please make it out to NIRS and send to 6930 Carroll Avenue, #340, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Finally, you can also donate with your credit/debit card by phone during normal business hours by calling Denise Jakobsberg at 301-270-6477. Thank you so much!

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you can't nuke global warming!

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