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Saturday, July 31, 2021

A Noble Journey from Vancouver to Mururoa, but Where is Greenpeace Heading Today?

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics

We are in August 2021, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are only now taking place. This is the second time the Olympics are being held in the capital city of the Land of the Rising Sun. In 1964, Tokyo was the host city of the Games of the XVIII Olympiad, and I have written about this event in a previous post published on 7th July 2020 titled, "Baron Pierre De Coubertin, Dr. Wernher von Braun, Sergei Korolev & The Space Olympics: Part 1".

The Covid-19 pandemic prevented the 2020 Games from taking place last year. Even now, to prevent community outbreaks of the dreaded disease, no spectators are permitted to watch the athletes participate in the 33 sports listed in the official program of these Olympics.

In August of 1945, two atomic bombs were deployed on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to effectively end World War II.

The atomic bombs deployed in Japan were the result of the "Manhattan Project". This was the code name for an American-led effort to develop a functional atomic weapon during World War II. In 1939, in response to American Intelligence reports that scientists working for Adolf Hitler were already developing nuclear-based weapons, President Franklin Roosevelt created several agencies to investigate the area of nuclear energy.

Discoveries in theoretical physics and chemistry from the early 1900s by science luminaries such as Einstein, Rutherford and the Curies had laid the foundation, but much more work was required to evolve scientific theory into a lethal weapon of mass destruction. Initially, the work of Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard at Columbia University was funded to take the science deeper. Whilst they focused on radioactive isotope separation and nuclear chain reactions, parallel research activities were undertaken by other prominent scientists in North America. To consolidate the state of the art of this new science discipline with seemingly immense military potential, President Roosevelt authorized the formation of the Manhattan Project on 28th December 1942 to weaponize nuclear energy.

The physics of Einstein and Oppenheimer provided fundamental theory in the development of atomic weapons.

A United States First Day Cover commemorating the work of Enrico Fermi that resulted in the Atomic Bombs that ended World War II

The creation and eventual use of the atomic bomb engaged some of the world's leading scientific minds working in collaboration with the United States military. In 1943, theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was already working on the concept of nuclear fission (along with Edward Teller and others), joined the team tasked to build a bomb and test it. He was named Director of the Los Alamos Laboratory located in northern New Mexico and would soon play a key role in delivering the military objectives that had been set.

President Roosevelt or FDR died on 12th April 1945. Harry Truman succeeded him as the 33rd President of the United States. By that time, the Germans were sustaining heavy losses in Europe and nearing surrender. The war in Europe appeared to be coming to an end and it was clear the deployment of a nuclear device would not be required in Europe.

The Double Surrender of Germany in 1945

Adolf Hitler died by suicide in a Berlin bunker on 30th April, 1945. His designated successor was Karl Dönitz, a Naval Admiral and fanatic Nazi. Dönitz deputized Alfred Jodl, Chief of the Operations Staff of the German Armed Forces High Command, to negotiate the surrender of all German forces with U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

On 7th May, Alfred Jodl signed an unconditional "Act of Military Surrender" and committed to a ceasefire that would commence at 11:01 p.m. Central European Time on 8th May 1945.

Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin did not accept this "Act of Military Surrender". He argued that since the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (U.S.S.R.) had sacrificed the most troops and civilians during the war, its most senior military commander should accept Germany's surrender. Stalin further proposed that the surrender site should be Berlin as this had been the capital of the German Third Reich. Most significantly, he did not accept Alfred Jodl as the signatory of the "Act of Military Surrender". Instead, Stalin insisted that Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, the Supreme Commander of all German Armed Forces, personally sign the Surrender document. Thus, the Allies decided to restage the Surrender Ceremony.

On 8th May, Keitel headed to Karlshorst, a suburb of Berlin, to sign the document, witnessed by Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov. An Allied delegation was also in attendance. At the Surrender, Keitel argued a minor point, hoping to add a clause that allowed his troops a grace period of 12 hours to ensure they received their ceasefire orders. Zhukov did not grant Keitel his request but ultimately offered Keitel a verbal promise to honour the 12-hour grace period that was sought. Due to this delay, the (second) Surrender document was not executed until after the ceasefire was supposed to have begun. By this time, it was already 9th May 1945. Thus, those in the former Soviet Union countries commemorate 9th May as "Victory Day" to this day whilst for the rest of the world, V-E (Victory in Europe) Day is celebrated on 8th May every year (the day the ceasefire was officially scheduled to begin).

A series of stamps from the coral atoll of NIUE - a self governing (but free association with New Zealand) island in the Pacific, commemorating the 60th Anniversary of VE Day. 

The Decision to Deploy Atomic Weapons

The war in Europe was now at a close, but there remained continued hostilities with Japan in the Asia Pacific region. Here the consensus among American military strategists was that the Japanese would fight to the bitter end, forcing a full-scale invasion of the island nation. An invasion scenario of Japan predicted significant casualties on both sides. But a scientific breakthrough was imminent with the Manhattan Project about to yield some lethal deliverables.

On 16th July 1945, in a remote desert location near Alamogordo, New Mexico, the first atomic bomb was successfully detonated. Codenamed the "Trinity Test", this bomb created an enormous mushroom cloud that rose some 40,000 feet high.

Scientists working under Robert Oppenheimer in Los Alamos developed two distinct types of bombs: a uranium-based design called "Little Boy" and a plutonium-based weapon called "Fat Man". Both designs were constructed at Los Alamos and became key components of American strategy to end World War II in its entirety.

On 26th July, 1945, a mere 10 days after the Trinity Test, a conference was held in the Allied-occupied city of Potsdam in Germany. This conference was attended by Stalin, Truman, Churchill and Attlee.

The protagonists of the Potsdam Conference of 1945 - Stalin, Churchill, Truman and Attlee.

As an aside, the simultaneous presence of both Churchill and Attlee at this meeting is particularly interesting. After V-E Day in Europe, Winston Churchill, the then Conservative Prime Minister of Great Britain, dissolved the British Parliament and called for a general election. These elections were held on 5th July 1945 after Parliament had been sitting for 10 consecutive years. Counting began directly after the close of the polls in the United Kingdom, but time was required to transport the votes of those serving overseas. So, election results were only declared on 26th July. Amazingly Churchill lost the election. So, until (and on) the 26th July 1945, Britain was represented at the Potsdam conference by Sir Winston Churchill. After 26th July, Great Britain was represented at this crucial meeting by Clement Attlee, the incoming Prime Minister from the Labour Party.

Two significant outcomes were decided at Potsdam. In the first instance, the United States delivered an ultimatum to Japan to surrender under the terms outlined in the Potsdam Declaration (which, among other provisions, called for the Japanese to immediately agree to form a new, democratic and peaceful government) or face "prompt and utter destruction”. Secondly, plans to disarm and demilitarize Germany were outlined. In addition, it was agreed that Germany would be divided into four Allied occupation zones controlled by the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union.

As the Potsdam Declaration provided no role for the Emperor in Japan's future, the Ruler of the island nation was unwilling to accept its terms.

With no surrender agreement in place with the Japanese, on 6th August, 1945, the "Enola Gay", a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber (named after Enola Gay Tibbets, the mother of one of the pilots, Colonel Paul Tibbets), dropped the untested "Little Boy" bomb some 1,900 feet above Hiroshima. It caused unprecedented destruction and death over an area of five square miles. Three days later, on 9th August 1945, with still no surrender declared, the "Fat Man" bomb was deployed over Nagasaki, the site of a torpedo-building plant, destroying more than three square miles of the city.

It is estimated that between 150,000 and 200,000 people died on those fateful mornings of 6th August and 9th August, 1945. On 10th August, the Japanese Government informed President Harry Truman of their intention to surrender and formally executed the necessary instruments on 14th August, 1945.

Humankind could finally declare that a world war had come to an end.

A Nuclear World

Science enabled weapons to be designed that quickly and lethally brought an end to World War II. But the end of the war was only the trigger for a non-nuclear chain reaction of events. On 12th March, 1947, President Harry Truman pledged, through the implementation of the "Truman Doctrine", that the United States would help any nation resist the spread of Communism. This triggered the "Cold War", a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies. The Cold War also sparked a nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, with both nations competing for supremacy in the arena of nuclear warfare. Whilst some promoted the philosophy that the possession of nuclear supremacy was a deterrent to future global conflict, others were concerned about the potential of fallout from nuclear accidents and the adverse environmental effects of the testing associated with the development of atomic weapons.

The Founding of Green Peace

It was Good Friday, on the 27th of March 1964. Most people in Alaska were about to sit down for their dinner. At 5:36 pm local time, a magnitude 9.2 earthquake, the strongest ever recorded in North America struck Alaska's Prince William Sound. The earthquake lasted four minutes, wobbled Seattle's Space Needle, approximately 1,200 miles away (which had only just opened in April 1962). Its effects were so severe and widespread that they registered in all North American states except Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware.

Seismic waves propagating from the epicentre of the earthquake caused the planet to "ring like a bell." A total of 131 people lost their lives, 15 in the four minutes that the earthquake struck and the rest in the aftermath, as devastating tsunamis, landslides, and sub-marine slumps caused massive damage to property and the natural landscape. Geological surveys taken immediately afterwards showed that parts of the Alaskan coast had sunk by up to 3 metres, whilst other areas rose by up to 13 metres. Most significantly, much of the coast shifted about 17 metres towards the ocean. In an instant, coastal forests plunged below sea level to be subsequently destroyed by salt water. Thousands of strong aftershocks continued for weeks after the earthquake, some measuring greater than magnitude 6.2 on the Richter Scale.

As a result of this earthquake, an earthquake-monitoring system was created to gather data and help seismologists predict future earthquakes. Scientist also learnt that earthquake-related tsunamis are not always localized and can occur thousands of miles from the epi-centre of a seismic event. This led to the establishment of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (originally called the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre) to alert people in affected areas of the potential occurrence of a dangerous tsunami. This system is used even till this day.

Given the catastrophic impact of this earthquake, there was public outcry when it was announced in the late 1960s that the United States planned a series of underground nuclear weapon tests in Alaska. In 1969, approximately 7,000 protestors blocked a major U.S.- Canada border crossing in British Columbia, carrying signs that read "Don't Make A Wave" (referring to the earlier tsunamis of 1964). These protests did not discourage the United States from testing and detonating a nuclear weapon. Whilst there was relief that no earthquake or tsunami followed the first test, opposition grew when the U.S. announced they would follow the initial test by detonating a second nuclear device five times more potent than the first one.

This second announcement caused immense consternation. Opposition to the proposed test mounted. One of the demonstrators was Jim Bohlen, a veteran who had served in the U.S. Navy during the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Bohlen was also an engineer who had worked on the U.S. Inter-continental Ballistic Missile program but emigrated to Canada after becoming disillusioned with the U.S. government's nuclear policy during the Cold War. Other demonstrators included Irving and Dorothy Stowe, both members of the Sierra Club (founded in 1892 by a group of Californians who wished to sponsor wilderness outings in "the mountain regions of the Pacific Coast"). They were frustrated that the Sierra Club was not doing more to prevent nuclear testing.

In October 1969, Bohlen and the Stowes' started meeting at a church basement in Vancouver, British Columbia. They called themselves "The Don't Make a Wave Committee". They officially established themselves in early 1970, and thus the seeds of "Greenpeace" were sown. The initial founders of the Don't Make a Wave Committee were Dorothy and Irving Stowe, Ben Metcalfe, Marie and Jim Bohlen, Paul Cote and Bob Hunter. 

It is reported that Irving Stowe influenced Bohlen in the practice of passive resistance where objectionable activity is protested by a mere physical presence. It was Jim Bohlen's wife, Marie, who came up with the idea to sail to Amchitka, the site of the American nuclear testing, to resist the tests passively. Her thinking was inspired by the anti-nuclear voyages of Albert Smith Bigelow in the 1950s, which were unsuccessful but had noble intentions. Bigelow, a distinguished U.S. Naval Officer, who had served for the United States during World War II, objected to nuclear weapons. In fact, he resigned from the US Naval Reserve a month before becoming eligible for his pension as a form of personal protest.

This stamp from the Federated States of Micronesia celebrates Linus Pauling. The American is the only person to have been awarded two undivided Nobel Prizes. In 1954, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and eight years later, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his opposition to weapons of mass destruction. 

The plan evolved. In their effort to stop the testing of nuclear devices at Amchitka, "The Don't Make a Wave Committee" chartered a boat, the "Phyllis Cormack". They set sail for Amchitka Island and positioned the Phyllis Cormack in harm's way, challenging the United States military in a show of passive resistance. The mission would be called Green Peace 1. The story goes that the name "Greenpeace" for the Amchitka mission came about when one of the founding team members, Bill Darnell, had in his mind that the word "green" was fundamental to their goal, As he thought about this, someone flashed him a peace sign, and he said, "Let's make that a green peace!". Afterwards, when making a button pin for "Green Peace", they found insufficient space on the button pin for two words, and so Green Peace became "Greenpeace"!

In 1971, Dr. Patrick Moore joined the Don't Make a Wave Committee. It is reported that Moore was quickly accepted into the inner circle of the initial founding team on the basis of his ability to provide practical, scientific based insights into discussions.

In the autumn of 1971, the Phyllis Cormack sailed towards Amchitka but was confronted by the U.S. naval vessel, Confidence. The green activists were forced to return from progressing to the testing zone. The detonation of the nuclear bomb that the group had attempted to stop eventually went ahead but subsequent tests were cancelled. The nuclear tests gained widespread criticism. Five months after the group's maiden mission and show of passive defiance, the United States halted the entire Amchitka nuclear test program. The island was later declared a bird sanctuary.

In 1972, The Don't Make a Wave Committee changed its official name to the "Greenpeace Foundation". Greenpeace was growing and was synonymous with the idea of an anti-nuclear world.

Opération Satanique: A John Clancy Thriller or a Case of the Truth Being Stranger than Fiction

I first came to hear about Greenpeace in the mid-1980s. At the time, I was on a work assignment that had me based in Italy. I recall visiting a friend in Milan one Sunday morning in August 1985. As we sipped our Lavazza coffee outside a small cafe at the Piazza del Duomo - the main square of Milan - named after the Cathedral of Milan (the Duomo), I noticed a group of young people carrying placards with the words "Greenpeace" and "Rainbow Warrior". I had my camera with me, struck up a conversation and soon understood that the flagship vessel, the Rainbow Warrior, of the environmental activists' group, Greenpeace, had been sunk in Port Auckland in New Zealand. The vessel was on a mission to lead a flotilla of yachts in a marine protest against French nuclear testing at the Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia.

A stamp from Bosnia and Herzegovina presenting the Greenpeace vessel "Rainbow Warrior" that was bombed by French agents in New Zealand.

During previous nuclear tests at Mururoa, protest ships had been boarded by French commandos after sailing into the shipping exclusion zone around the atoll. But this time, the Greenpeace vessel had been attacked. My limited Italian language skills allowed me to understand that bombs were used to sink the vessel and a person had been killed. As we continued discussing this intriguing topic I introduced myself, and I was surprised to learn that the victim killed in the bombing, one Fernando Pereira, carried the same surname as I do. Not only that, he was a photographer by profession and my new Italian friends found it almost suspiciously co-incidental that I not only carried a similar surname but I also had an expensive looking Pentax camera strung around my neck.

As our conversation got more profound, I realized that these activists, demonstrating in Piazza del Duomo, believed that the bombing operation, code-named Opération Satanique (Operation Satan), had been carried out by the French Foreign Intelligence Services. France had initially denied all responsibility for the incident, but the Kiwi authorities captured two French agents. I was shown some excerpts, apparently from the Italian newspapers that quoted several political figures, including then New Zealand Prime Minister, Davide Lange, referring to this bombing as an act of state-sponsored terrorism.

The incident severely strained diplomatic relations between France and New Zealand for a period. In fact, in France, the scandal resulted in the resignation of the French Defence Minister, Charles Hernu.

Investigations by the New Zealand authorities revealed that two French agents, Captain Dominque Prieur and Commander Alain Mafart, were involved and they were captured on New Zealand territory. They were charged with crimes ranging from arson to murder. They pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were each sentenced to ten years in prison.

The other agents of the French team all escaped from New Zealand. Christine Cabon, whose role had ended before the bombing, had left for Israel immediately before the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. After she was identified as a co-conspirator in the operation, Auckland police requested that the Israeli authorities detain her. Cabon was tipped off and fled Israel before she could be arrested.

Three other agents, Chief Petty Officer Roland Verge ("Raymond Velche"), Petty Officer Jean-Michel Bartelo ("Jean-Michel Berthelo") and Petty Officer Gérard Andries ("Eric Audrenc"), who had transported the bombs to New Zealand on a yacht, escaped by that yacht. But they were arrested by Australian police in Norfolk Island. A technicality in Australian law did not allow them to be held in police custody until the results of forensic tests performed on the yacht were known. In the interim, they fled Australian waters in the dark of night and were picked up by the French submarine, "Rubis", in an escape befitting any of the spy thrillers written by John Clancy.

In the months and years that followed, France defiantly continued to conduct nuclear testing in the South Pacific while Greenpeace also pursued its marine protests in the area. Indeed, in October 1985, just months after the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, France conducted even more underground testing of a nuclear weapon in the South Pacific just hours after its Navy commandos seized an anti-nuclear protest ship of the environmental group a few miles from the test site.

The October 1985 test, codenamed "Hero", was the first since the scandal over the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. The Hero test was widely publicized and carried out in the presence of French Prime Minister, Laurent Fabius, Defense Minister, Paul Quiles, a bipartisan parliamentary delegation and a dozen journalists who were flown to the South Pacific on an Air France Concorde aircraft for the occasion. Both the seizure of the vessel and the considerable publicity given to the test, in the presence of the French leadership underlined France's determination to ignore protests in the region over its nuclear test policies.

In a blaze of publicity, French Premier, Laurent Fabius, flew to French Polynesia in 1985 in an Air France Concorde to observe the "Hero" nuclear tests after the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior. This First Day Cover was issued to commemorate his visit.

The mass destruction potential of nuclear weapons was clear for all to see. In fact, treaties banning nuclear weapons testing (except for underground testing) had been executed since 1963. The issue with these treaties was that they were bi-lateral. It was not until the late 1990s, that a comprehensive ban, the "Comprehensive Nuclear – Test – Ban Treaty (CTBT)" was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10th September, 1996. But this multilateral treaty that bans all nuclear tests for both civilian and military purposes in all environments has not entered into force as several nations have not ratified it.

Since humankind entered the nuclear era, it has been mainly activism by environmental groups such as Greenpeace that has kept a watchful check on the military complex pursuing the arms race. Many argue that it is the mere presence and immense destructive threat of nuclear weapons that have kept the world without a great war for the most extended period in recorded history.

Greenpeace in a Green World

Since the adoption of the CTBT by the United Nations, only three countries have conducted nuclear tests. These countries are India, Pakistan and North Korea. Tests have been few and far between.

Against that backdrop, Greenpeace has now no anti-nuclear cause to fight. Indeed, it appears to have changed course, redirecting its influence to bring to the public forefront the plight of polar bears and other animals living in the Arctic and other wilderness areas that are being impacted by climate change. Large media campaigns are also now being targeted against the use of fossil fuels to the extent that investment in ensuring the long-term availability of hydrocarbons as an energy source is being curtailed.

Stamps of Turkmenistan presenting the Greenpeace initiatives of today

But how are such campaigns shaping economic and political mindsets and where is this propaganda initiative taking the world?

Are the Energy Trilemma and Decarbonization Driving a Silent Move to Nuclearization?

The World Energy Council's definition of energy sustainability is based on three core dimensions: Energy Security, Energy Equity, and Environmental Sustainability of Energy Systems. Balancing these three goals constitutes a 'Trilemma', and balanced systems enable the prosperity and competitiveness of individual countries. Recognizing these goals then prompts the question: How are these objectives to be met whilst also aggressively pursuing the climate change agenda?

First world economic planners understand the issues. Access to a long term, uninterrupted sources of energy drive economic growth and preserve peace. On the other hand, politicians need to pander to the present-day trends and wishes of their voters. The modern voting public wants a green world … fast, much faster than innovation can deliver.

What then is the solution?

The facts are as follows. Whilst the world has been pursuing a renewable energy strategy, today, about 445 nuclear power reactors are operating in 32 countries (inclusive of Taiwan), with a combined capacity of about 400 GWe. In 2020 these plants delivered about 10% of the world's electricity.

Another 50 power reactors are being constructed in 19 countries, notably China, India, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, 100 power reactors with a total gross capacity of about 110,000 MWe are on order or planned. Over 300 more are at the proposal stage, some of these in nations designated "Emerging Nuclear Energy Countries". Most reactors are scheduled for deployment in Asia, with its fast-growing economies and rapidly rising electricity demand.

Increased nuclear capacity in some countries is the result of an uprating of existing plants. This is being demonstrated as a highly cost-effective way of bringing on new capacity. Numerous power reactors in the United States, Switzerland, Spain, Finland, and Sweden, as examples, have had their generating capacity increased.

There are no firm projections for retirements of plants over the next two decades. Still, the World Nuclear Association's 2019 edition of The Nuclear Fuel Report estimates 154 reactors shall be decommissioned by 2040 in its reference scenario. They also utilize conservative assumptions about new licence awards and permit renewals and estimate 289 plants coming online.

What's Next?

Today, Greenpeace is the world's most visible environmental organization, with entities in more than 55 countries and over 2.9 million members worldwide. Amchitka, it has turned out, was only the beginning of what would come to be a much bigger story. Ironically, it is likely that activism against the use of fossil fuels, led by organizations like Greenpeace and others, will only lead to the eventual proliferation of the use of nuclear energy. There are innovative solutions in areas such as CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage) that would allow fossil fuels to co-exist within a clean world in a low risk Energy Trilemma strategy. But present day hostile activism, disinformation and a lack of political long term vision do not promote these ideas. 

Returning to the energy strategy of the French nation; it has a long legacy in the discipline of nuclear physics. Pierre and Marie Curie were the discoverers of elements that demonstrated radioactive properties. Marie Curie's accomplishments include being the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. More incredibly, to date, the Curie family has received the most Nobel prizes, with four prizes awarded to five individual laureates (note 1).

Pierre and Marie Curie - Nobel Laureates

I do not condone much of what the French nation did in the South Pacific in pursuit of its own long term goals. Between 1966 and 1996, France conducted 193 nuclear tests in French Polynesia (with several adverse health complications, long-term environmental and social impacts for those living in the area – see note # 2). In the face of passive resistance from Greenpeace, negative media exposure and widespread public criticism, the nation proceeded along a path less travelled. But through this process, France acquired the knowledge, technology and experience to now produce 75 percent of its electricity requirement from nuclear power plants (the highest percentage of any country on Earth). On the positive side, it claims a high level of recycling of spent nuclear fuel rods and has never utilized an atomic weapon in war.

First Day Cover commemorating the opening of the French Phenix Nuclear Power Station in 1974. This plant was decommissioned in 2009. 

In the absence of alternative technical solutions to fulfil the requirements of the Energy Trilemma, I believe that short term political expediency may see superficial wind and solar projects prevail but, the long-term direction of first world economies and the well-informed will be to silently follow the example of France and increasingly rely on nuclear power. 

If the currently popular mantra of eliminating the use of fossil fuels is pursued, then those without the courage of their convictions will have little choice but to eventually allow nuclear energy to dominate their long-term energy mix. 

But there is a choice. If  governments can demonstrate long term vision, deploy natural resources (including fossil fuels) available to the countries that they lead, while insisting on the incorporation of technical goals demanding zero emissions in the production of energy, then we can look forward to sustainable, equitable, secure and SAFE energy supply systems. The technologies exist, so why not? 

Anti-fossil fuel extremism must end. Thought balance must be restored or we likely face a nuclear-based energy future. Many times I wonder how the founders of Greenpeace, with their historical anti-nuclear raison d' étre  feel about such a future?

End of Post.

All stamps displayed in this post are from my personal collection.

Movie: Crimson Tide.

Quote by Denzel Washington, playing the role of Capitan Hunter:

“In my humble opinion, in the nuclear world, the true enemy is war itself.”

P.S. The French agents who were captured in New Zealand never completed their prison sentences.

Note 1: Marie Curie's husband shared the 1903 Physics prize with her. In 1911, Marie Curie won the Chemistry Prize and in 1935, their daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie was awarded the Chemistry together with her husband, Frédéric Joliot-Curie. In addition, the husband of Marie Curie's second daughter, Henry Labouisse was a director of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 on that organization's behalf.

Note 2: On 25 July 2021, President Emmanuel Macron of France arrived in Tahiti on a visit to French Polynesia. The visit focused on climate change, China's growing assertiveness in the Pacific region, and the legacy of French nuclear tests. Residents in the sprawling archipelago of more than 100 islands, located midway between Mexico and Australia, were hoping for Macron to confirm compensation for radiation victims following decades of nuclear testing as France pursued atomic weapons. Over the decades, the tests have remained a source of deep resentment, seen as evidence of racist colonial attitudes that disregarded the lives of islanders.

Note 3: On 28th July 2021, a 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck off Alaska's coast. It was the strongest recorded earthquake since 1964.

Note 4: Dr. Patrick Moore (, was a member of the Don't Make a Wave Committee in early 1971. In 1985, Moore and other directors of Greenpeace International were present to greet the Rainbow Warrior off the coast of New Zealand on its way to protest French nuclear testing in the South Pacific. Shortly afterwards, the vessel was bombed and sunk by French Intelligence operatives.  In 1986, it is reported that Dr. Moore left Greenpeace International a result of differences in approach to the implementation of policy.