Japan: Fearing Nothing But Fear Itself
Statement issued by Jacques Cheminade, President of Solidarité et Progrès
11 March 2011
The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan present mankind with a challenge. When up against extreme acts of nature, or acts of great social injustice, people must muster from within that which differentiates them from an animal trapped in his fear, that being the quality of the sublime sung by the great poets, which identifies an individual with his species and with the universe he lives in.
Believing that nature is inevitably more powerful than man would lead us to relinquish everything that has made up our history, ever since man mastered fire. The decision to do without nuclear power would mean we agree to stop our understanding of the principles of the universe, and their application for the necessary development of the biosphere. It would be as if the first human beings had renounced fire out of a beast-like fear of its danger. On the contrary, the dynamic of human creation must guide us. Without it, we would have remained in the stone age, or yet more likely, we would have disappeared from the planet Earth.
We have to start from this basic consideration to avoid being drawn into a false debate, one fostered by those financial forces and their interests who seek to sow emotional turmoil and pessimism, and thus paralyze their enemies and thus lead them into a voluntary servitude — in other words into the cult of anti-progress, in other words, the cult of the anti-human.
Let’s put it bluntly: What is happening in Japan today is because development of nuclear power was halted at the stage of Westinghouse-style fission reactors, and especially because of the systematic, intentional destruction of scientific thinking under the joint impulse of the City of London and Wall Street’s monetarist Empire and the cultural pessimism spread by perverse ecologism. We have not really progressed technologically, which means we have regressed. The lesson to be drawn is to never again leave science and its applications to the bureaucrats, technocrats, nucleocrats and accountants, but give them back to those who serve the future generations and represent the people.
Let’s put it even more bluntly: The destruction of the cooling units and the electrical circuits by the tsunami, and the meltdown of the reactor cores, are not because of mistakes by the Japanese, who reacted admirably in face of peril. It is because of the blockade against science. Indeed, "nuclear power" is not a type of reactor at a given time, but a continuous dynamic of development.
The lesson to be drawn is that we all should have developed fourth-generation reactors, and moved into controlled thermonuclear fusion more quickly. Fourth-generation reactors, and HTRs, are inherently safe, which means that when the reaction stops, heat production also stops, in contrast to the boiling water reactors like those in the Japanese power plants. Fusion, in particular laser fusion, would then come into play in some 40 years and supply very cheap energy. Of course, opting for this direction and pursuing our human adventure requires considerable long-term investments. They are impossible under the current financial system, which destroys the economy and is socially unjust, and that’s why we have to change systems.
Finally, an even more fundamental problem involves scientific investigation into the causes of earthquakes and tsunamis, to be able to foresee them and to control their effects. The coincidence between these catastrophes and solar ejections, such as those that have just occurred, is one track. Beyond that, man should no longer consider himself as an instrument in some mechanism, but as one who creates his living conditions by controlling natural phenomena, whether they come from the Earth, the Sun or the galaxy.
This thought, combined with creative deeds, is what will prevent us from one day becoming an endangered species.
While the French authorities agree on the relatively safer conditions of the current French nuclear power plants, that is not enough. In a continually creative universe, new principles must always be discovered and applied to ensure life.
The alternative would be a severe cutback in energy consumption, or attempting to produce shale gas by hydrofracturating or oil from tar sands. In other words, we would have either a human disaster and the criminal population reduction sought by some, or an ecological and human disaster caused by technological regression. If we want a future, geothermal power, windmills or solar panels are not an option, since the criterion is the energy-flux density per unit area, per capita and per amount of consumed matter, which corresponds to the potential population density desired. Without the means to increase that potential, which can only be provided by the continuous development of nuclear power, we won’t have any future generations. If we reject the path opened up by the Curies and the Langevins, we all but relinquish a future for mankind, in particular in the poorest countries — which should be the first to benefit from a world freed from the stranglehold of finance.
Failure to understand this choice comes down to misunderstanding the very nature of a human being. There is no way out that takes us back to the past, except for death..