Author: Oregon PeaceWorks

French nuclear giant scraps SMR plans due to soaring costs, will start over

GILES PARKINSON – The federal Coalition has argued that nuclear might be expensive to build, but will deliver cheaper power to consumers. It has not explained how, but it has said that its reactors would be government owned, suggesting that – like France and Ontario – the costs would be borne by taxpayers and the supply of power to customers would be heavily subsidized.

This Election’s Impact on Immigration

ANDREW MOSS – With enough engagement and the right kinds of pressure, we might just get the kind of immigration system our nation needs: not the policies that squander tens of billions on a carceral, dead-end deportation machine, but a just system that invests in enough people and the right kinds of processes to minimize backlogs, expedite asylum claims, and provide the legal pathways that will help immigrants begin working and contributing to a land that needs them.

Joint Statement of U.S. Government Officials who have Resigned over U.S. policy towards Gaza, Palestine, and Israel

JOSH PAUL (for himself and eleven other former U.S. government officials) – We are former U.S. Government Officials who resigned from our respective positions over the last nine months due to our grave concerns with current U.S. policy towards the crisis in Gaza, and U.S. policies and practices towards Palestine and Israel more broadly.

Air Pollution Is Killing Millions and Rising Exponentially—A Shift in Agriculture Can Solve It

JIMMY VIDELE – Today’s biggest epidemic is the exponential rise of CO2-equivalent atmospheric emissions. With COVID-19, the world changed protocols within weeks of the outbreak. This shows that we can change today to stop the harm inflicted on the planet, the more than 8 billion humans, and countless other Earthlings. We need to realize that there is no bigger threat facing us currently.

Minding the Debate: What’s Happening to Our Brains During Election Season

MELINDA BURRELL – Some of us are convening watch parties and others deliberately will not tune in. Either way, the June 27 presidential debate is the real start of the election season, when more Americans start to pay attention. It’s when partisan rhetoric runs hot and emotions run high. It’s also a chance for us, as members of a democratic republic. How? By setting expectations for ourselves and our leaders. A peek at our neurobiology can help us make this debate something we learn from rather than something that divides us further.

Are the prospects for Small Modular Reactors being exaggerated? Five key characteristics examined

ED LYMAN – Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are being presented as the next generation of nuclear technology. While traditional plants face cost overruns and safety issues, SMRs are seen by their champions as cheaper, safer, and faster to deploy. But evidence casts these claims into doubt. In five sections of this article, the reasons why are listed and analyzed.

Climate Superfund Law Enacted; Vermont Becomes First State to Hold Big Oil Financially Responsible for a Fair Share of Climate Damages

VERMONT NATURAL RESOURCES COUNCIL – Legislation authorizing the State of Vermont to recoup financial damages caused by climate change from major fossil fuel companies became law today (May 31, 2024) when Governor Phil Scott failed to sign or veto the bill during the constitutionally-mandated five-day consideration period.

Authoritarianism is on the Rise in Many Democracies

MEL GURTOV – Can we draw any general conclusions from these elections? Probably the most important is the authoritarian tendencies of leaders and challengers in these Official corruption, violence against critics, disrespect for domestic and international law, and disregard for public opinion are often features of democratically elected rulers as they are of rulers who are not elected. democracies. We keep learning that winning elections is not the same thing as governing democratically. 

How the Military-Industrial Complex is Killing us All

DAVID VINE and THERESA (ISA) ARRIOLA – Though all too many of us will continue to believe that dismantling the MIC is unrealistic, given the threats facing us, it’s time to think as boldly as possible about how to roll back its power, resist the invented notion that war is inevitable, and build the world we want to see. Just as past movements reduced the power of Big Tobacco and the railroad barons, just as some are now taking on Big Pharma, Big Tech, and the prison-industrial complex, so we must take on the MIC to build a world focused on making human lives rich (in every sense) rather than one focused on bombs and other weaponry that brings wealth to a select few who benefit from death.

Act Now Against These Companies Profiting from the Genocide of the Palestinian People

PALESTINIAN BDS NATIONAL COMMITTEE (BNC) – People of conscience around the world are rightfully shattered, enraged, and sometimes feeling powerless about Israel’s #GazaGenocide. Many feel compelled to boycott any and all products and services of companies tied in any way to Israel. The proliferation of extensive “boycott lists” on social media is a result of this. The question is how to make boycotts effective and actually have an impact in holding corporations accountable for their complicity in the suffering of Palestinians? 

What conflict resolution experts wish universities knew about conflict

MELINDA BURRELL – The protests roiling our campuses reveal a great deal about us as a country. Emotions are easily triggered, many of us are comfortable being angry, and most of us need help to handle conflict constructively. And these emotions are likely to keep running high as we head towards the November election. Understanding the importance of creating forums to listen – and of reaching for help in navigating conflict – are good bets.

UMass Arrests: What Would Daniel Ellsberg Do?

CHRISTIAN APPY – What would Daniel Ellsberg do in the face of the Israel-Hamas war? We can’t know with complete certainty because he died last June at the age of 92. We do know that in the 50 years after he released the Pentagon Papers, he devoted his life to principled nonviolent activism and was arrested more than 80 times for acts of civil disobedience in the struggle for peace and nuclear disarmament. When Christian Appy saw UMass students protest Israel’s way of retaliating against Hamas for Hamas’ October 7, 2023 invasion of Israel, he took up with the students after asking, “What would Daniel Ellsberg do?”

Despite High-Level Encouragement, US-China Student Exchanges Are Diminishing

MEL GURTOV – The tit-for-tat warnings between the U.S. and China reflect the politics of their relations today: the “China threat” being pushed in Congress, and American public opinion now very unfavorable toward China; and Chinese upset with the US “Cold War mentality” and strategic containment of China. Sadly, students and researchers in both countries suffer from this negative dialogue.

War Culture Hates the Ethical Passion of the Young

NORMAN SOLOMON – With transcendent wisdom, this spring’s student uprising has rejected conformity as a lethal anesthetic while the horrors continue in Gaza. Leaders of the most powerful American institutions want to continue as usual, as if official participation in genocide were no particular cause for alarm. Instead, young people have dared to lead the way, insisting that such a culture of death is repugnant and completely unacceptable.

Climate movement elders revive monkey wrench tactics to save an old forest

NICK ENGELFRIED – Earlier this year, seven activists entered the site of a proposed timber sale in Washington State, intent on halting — or at least delaying — the destruction of trees with immense carbon storage potential. Over the course of several hours, they hiked off-trail through the dense understory, removing signs and flagging tape marking the boundaries of the controversial Carrot timber sale. The creative nonviolent direct action seemed to pay off, as a couple days later Washington’s Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, announced it was cancelling the Carrot sale for the time being. The timing seems striking, even though the announcement did not acknowledge the protest. Now, the nonviolent saboteurs hope their actions have bought enough precious time to permanently protect the area.

Interdependency Is the Missing Understanding in International Relations

WINSLOW MYERS – New thinking motivates disarmament and accelerates new forms of sustainable energy. The opportunity is for everyone, citizens and leaders, to say no to obvious dead ends like the arms race and yes to new levels of cooperation—including reaching out with endless patience to our adversaries with a larger vision of self-interest that leads to life for all. 

Human rights violated by Swiss inaction on climate, ECHR rules in landmark case

AJIT NIRANJAN – Court finds in favour of group of older Swiss women who claimed weak policies put them at greater risk of death from heatwaves. In a landmark decision on one of three major climate cases, the first such rulings by an international court, the ECHR raised judicial pressure on governments to stop filling the atmosphere with gases that make extreme weather more violent.

A Class Analysis of the Trump-Biden Rerun

RICHARD D. WOLFF – One crucial lesson of the New Deal will have been learned and applied. Leaving the capitalist class structure of production unchanged—a minority of employers dominating a majority of employees—enables that minority to undo whatever reforms any New Deal might achieve. That is what the U.S. employer class did after 1945. The solution now must include moving beyond the employer-employee organization of the workplace. Replacing that with a democratic community organization—what we elsewhere call worker cooperatives—is the missing element that can make progressive reforms stick