Who Really Needs Nuclear Power? Big Business, That’s Who!

Who Really Needs Nuclear Power? Big Business, That’s Who!

Who Really Needs Nuclear Power? Big Business, That’s Who! Asia, Blog, Japan
March 16, 2011

AKR recently learned Mitsubishi was the driving force behind building the Fukushima power plant, and that they had been warned its safety “could not be guaranteed” in the event of a natural disaster.

Most of the nuclear facilities in Japan appear to have been built by and for Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Toshiba, GE & Westinghouse.

These companies profit, not only through the use of energy, but in building the plants themselves. And no doubt, they lobbied the government to get the plants built, funded the “independent” studies that fraudulently verified plant safety & suppressed unfavorable reports.

Manufacturers manufacture the machinery that runs the facilities they need to power their manufacture & build more machinery

It’s the serpent eating its own tail, and AKR contends that,

“when looking beyond the veil of marketing gibberish and corporate newspeak, at least 90% of power consumption for industrial manufacturing, resource extraction and transportation is completely frivolous.”

The proponents of nuclear power also keep throwing around the argument that the same amount of power produced by burning fossil fuels causes much more immediate damage to the environment. Well, of course, but that has nothing to do with the question of whether or not all that power NEEDS to be generated for the good of the people in the first place. AK Rockefeller thinks not.

In Japan today, 26% of power consumption is accounted for by nuclear energy. It’s up to Japanese society to decide whether that 26% is actually even necessary. We, the people of the world, need to examine these questions carefully.

  • How much electricity goes to power homes, schools, hospitals, public services, local businesses and non-industrial agriculture?
  • How much goes to power the manufacture of machines, products & equipment that are mainly used to generate wealth for a tiny minority of businessmen?
  • How much goes towards the manufacture of luxury items that most people can’t afford and don’t need.
  • How much power is wasted as a result of the interference of business in social policy making? (i.e. dismantling public transportation to sell cars, building more roads instead of investing in rail, mismanaging public resources at our expense just to profit political campaign contributors)
  • What percentage of air travel and other transporation energy consumption is only for business, the vast majority of which is entirely unnecessary?

A quick search on the web turns up statistics from 2004 in Japan, where the breakdown of energy consumption was 44.9% by industry, 31.0% by residential and commercial, and 24.1% by transportation.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2007, the breakdown of energy consumption worldwide by end-use sector is as follows:

'Little Boy' By DEVOLVE ART

Residential sector = 14%
(defined as the energy consumed by households, excluding transportation uses)

Commercial sector = 7%
(the services and institutional sector – consists of businesses, institutions, and organizations that provide services)

Industrial sector = 51%
(industries including manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and construction, and activities, such as processing and assembly, space conditioning, and lighting)

Transportation sector = 27%
(the energy consumed in moving people and goods by road, rail, air, water, and pipeline)

So 78% of world energy consumption is in the industrial and transportation sectors. We argue that most of this usage is not necessary to the health and well-being of society, and benefits only an infinitesimal slice of the world’s population.

The energy industry and manufacturing giants will surely be quick to provide figures to counter this argument, but given the sheer incompetence and dishonesty we’ve seen from energy planners, regulators and providers throughout the world, perhaps it would sensible to assume that they are all lying – all the time.

And what about all the job losses if the majority of frivolous manufacturing is shut down? This fear, instilled in the masses by their bosses and masters, is unfounded and only perpetuated to ensure an insane and unsustainable status quo. WE, the people, make the economy, and when people work together towards intelligent and beneficial solutions to our problems, we can and will create better and less destructive, yet still profitable enterprises if we choose to.

The real problem is not that human beings use too much energy, it is the irresponsible use of power by big business, and this is a social problem that can be dealt with. It’s simply the nature of big business: a giant self-serving monster that creates unimaginable wealth and concentrates it in the hands of tiny group of greedy, unscrupulous and amoral sociopaths. We have to curb that nature. We need to walk away from the energy giants, and leave them out in the cold.

I feel as if we in Japan are living in the shadow of a big tree, and there is no place more dangerous to be during a thunderstorm than under a big tree. And there could be nothing more foolish than taking shelter under a “nuclear umbrella” which will be the first target in the next war. Now we are tilling the earth beneath that dark umbrella. I feel as though a crisis is approaching from both inside and out.

Masanobu Fukuoka (1978)

AK Rockefeller

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AK Rockefeller

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