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Wasserman writes: "As you ride the Amtrak along the Pacific coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, you pass the San Onofre nuclear power plant, home to three mammoth atomic reactors shut by citizen activism."

Solar and wind projects are being built in more places around the globe more cheaply than any time in history. (photo: EcoWatch)
Solar and wind projects are being built in more places around the globe more cheaply than any time in history. (photo: EcoWatch)

King CONG vs. Solartopia

By Harvey Wasserman, The Progressive

14 January 17


s you ride the Amtrak along the Pacific coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, you pass the San Onofre nuclear power plant, home to three mammoth atomic reactors shut by citizen activism.

Framed by gorgeous sandy beaches and some of the best surf in California, the dead nukes stand in silent tribute to the popular demand for renewable energy. They attest to one of history’s most powerful and persistent nonviolent movements.

But 250 miles up the coast, two reactors still operate at Diablo Canyon, surrounded by a dozen earthquake faults. They’re less than seventy miles from the San Andreas, about half the distance of Fukushima from the quake line that destroyed it. Should any quakes strike while Diablo operates, the reactors could be reduced to rubble and the radioactive fallout would pour into Los Angeles.

Some 10,000 arrests of citizens engaged in civil disobedience have put the Diablo reactors at ground zero in the worldwide No Nukes campaign. But the epic battle goes far beyond atomic power. It is a monumental showdown over who will own our global energy supply, and how this will impact the future of our planet.

On one side is King CONG (Coal, Oil, Nukes, and Gas), the corporate megalith that’s unbalancing our weather and dominating our governments in the name of centralized, for-profit control of our economic future. On the other is a nonviolent grassroots campaign determined to reshape our power supply to operate in harmony with nature, to serve the communities and individuals who consume and increasingly produce that energy, and to build the foundation of a sustainable eco-democracy.

The modern war over America’s energy began in the 1880s, when Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla clashed over the nature of America’s new electric utility business. It is now entering a definitive final phase as fossil fuels and nuclear power sink into an epic abyss, while green power launches into a revolutionary, apparently unstoppable, takeoff.

In many ways, the two realities were separated at birth.

Edison pioneered the idea of a central grid, fed by large corporate-owned power generators. Backed by the banker J. Pierpont Morgan, Edison pioneered the electric light bulb and envisioned a money-making grid in which wires would carry centrally generated electricity to homes, offices, and factories. He started with a coal-burning generator at Morgan’s Fifth Avenue mansion, which in 1882 became the world’s first home with electric lights.

Morgan’s father was unimpressed. And his wife wanted that filthy generator off the property. So Edison and Morgan began stringing wires around New York City, initially fed by a single power station. The city was soon criss-crossed with wires strung by competing companies.

But the direct current produced by Edison’s generator couldn’t travel very far. So he offered his Serbian assistant, Nikola Tesla, a $50,000 bonus to solve the problem.

Tesla did the job with alternating current, which Edison claimed was dangerous and impractical. He reneged on Tesla’s bonus, and the two became lifelong rivals.

To demonstrate alternating current’s dangers, Edison launched the “War of the Currents,” using it to kill large animals (including an elephant). He also staged a gruesome human execution with the electric chair he secretly financed.

Edison’s prime vision was of corporate-owned central power stations feeding a for-profit grid run for the benefit of capitalists like Morgan.

Tesla became a millionaire working with industrialist George Westinghouse, who used alternating current to establish the first big generating station at Niagara Falls. But Morgan bullied him out of the business. A visionary rather than a capitalist, Tesla surrendered his royalties to help Westinghouse, then spent the rest of his haunted, complex careerpioneering various inventions meant to produce endless quantities of electricity and distribute it free and without wires.

Meanwhile, the investor-owned utilities bearing Edison’s name and Morgan’s money built the new grid on the back of big coal-burners that poured huge profits into their coffers and lethal pollutants into the air and water.

In the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal established the federally owned Tennessee Valley Authority and Bonneville Power Project. The New Deal also strung wires to thousands of American farms through the Rural Electrification Administration. Hundreds of rural electrical cooperatives sprang up throughout the land. As nonprofits with community roots and ownership, the co-ops have generally provided far better and more responsive service than the for-profit investor-owned utilities.

But it was another federal agency—the Atomic Energy Commission—that drove the utility industry to the crisis point we know today. Coming out of World War II, the commission’s mandate was to maintain our nascent nuclear weapons capability. After the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it shifted focus, prodded by Manhattan Project scientists who hoped the “Peaceful Atom” might redeem their guilt for inventing the devices that killed so many.

When AEC chairman Lewis Strauss promised atomic electricity “too cheap to meter,” he heralded a massive government commitment involving billions in invested capital and thousands of jobs. Then, in 1952, President Harry Truman commissioned a panel on America’s energy future headed by CBS Chairman William Paley. The commission reportembraced atomic power, but bore the seeds of a worldview in which renewable energy would ultimately dominate. Paley predicted the United States would have thirteen million solar-heated homes by 1975.

Of course, this did not happen. Instead, the nuclear power industry grew helter-skelter without rational planning. Reactor designs were not standardized. Each new plant became an engineering adventure, as capability soared from roughly 100 megawatts at Shippingport in 1957 to well over 1,000 in the 1970s. By then, the industry was showing signs of decline. No new plant commissioned since 1974 has been completed.

But with this dangerous and dirty power have come Earth-friendly alternatives, ignited in part by the grassroots movements of the 1960s. E.F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautifulbecame the bible of a back-to-the-land movement that took a new generation of veteran activists into the countryside.

Dozens of nonviolent confrontations erupted, with thousands of arrests. In June 1978, nine months before the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, the grassroots Clamshell Alliance drew 20,000 participants to a rally at New Hampshire’s Seabrook site. And Amory Lovins’s pathbreaking article, “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken,” posited a whole new energy future, grounded in photovoltaic and wind technologies, along with breakthroughs in conservation and efficiency, and a paradigm of decentralized, community-owned power.

As rising concerns about global warming forced a hard look at fossil fuels, the fading nuclear power industry suddenly had a new selling point. Climate expert James Hansen, former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman, and Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand began advocating atomic energy as an answer to CO2 emissions. The corporate media began breathlessly reporting a “nuclear renaissance” allegedly led by hordes of environmentalists.

But the launch of Peaceful Atom 2.0 has fallen flat.

As I recently detailed in an online article for The Progressive, atomic energy adds to rather than reduces global warming. All reactors emit Carbon-14. The fuel they burn demands substantial CO2 emissions in the mining, milling, and enrichment processes. Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen has compiled a wide range of studies concluding new reactor construction would significantly worsen the climate crisis.

Moreover, attempts to recycle spent reactor fuel or weapons material have failed, as have attempts to establish a workable nuclear-waste management protocol. For decades, reactor proponents have argued that the barriers to radioactive waste storage are political rather than technical. But after six decades, no country has unveiled a proven long-term storage strategy for high-level waste.

For all the millions spent on it, the nuclear renaissance has failed to yield a single new reactor order. New projects in France, Finland, South Carolina, and Georgia are costingbillions extra, with opening dates years behind schedule. Five projects pushed by the Washington Public Power System caused the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. No major long-standing green groups have joined the tiny crew of self-proclaimed “pro-nuke environmentalists.” Wall Street is backing away.

Even the split atom’s most ardent advocates are hard-pressed to argue any new reactors will be built in the United States, or more than a scattered few anywhere else but China, where the debate still rages and the outcome is uncertain.

Today there are about 100 U.S. reactors still licensed to operate, and about 450 worldwide. About a dozen U.S. plants have shut down in the last several years. A half dozen more are poised to shut for financial reasons. The plummeting price of fracked gas and renewable energy has driven them to the brink. As Gundersen notes, operating and maintenance costs have soared as efficiency and performance have declined. An aging, depleted skilled labor force will make continued operations dicey at best.

And nuclear plants have short lifespans for safe operation.

“When the reactor ruptured on March 11, 2011, spewing radioactivity around the northern hemisphere, Fukushima Daiichi had been operating only one month past its fortieth birthday,” Gundersen says.

But the nuclear power industry is not giving up. It wants some $100 billion in state-based bailouts. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently pushed through a $7.6 billion handout to sustain four decrepit upstate reactors. A similar bailout was approved in Ohio. Where once it demanded deregulation and a competitive market, the nuclear industry now wants re-regulation and guaranteed profits no matter how badly it performs.

The grassroots pushback has been fierce. Proposed bailouts have been defeated in Illinois, but then approved. They are under attack in New York and Ohio, but their future is uncertain. A groundbreaking agreement involving green and union groups has set deadlines for shutting the Diablo reactors, with local activists demanding a quicker timetable. Increasingly worried about meltdowns and explosions, grassroots campaigns to close old reactors are ramping up throughout the United States and Europe. Citizen action in Japan has prevented the reopening of nearly all nuclear plants since Fukushima.

Envisioning the “nuclear interruption” behind us, visionaries like Lovins see a decentralized “Solartopian” system with supply owned and operated at the grassroots.

The primary battleground is now Germany, with the world’s fourth-largest economy. Many years ago, the powerful green movement won a commitment to shut the country’s fossil/nuclear generators and convert entirely to renewables. But the center-right regime of Angela Merkel was dragging its feet.

In early 2011, the greens called for a nationwide demonstration to demand the Energiewende, the total conversion to decentralized green power. But before the rally took place, the four reactors at Fukushima blew up. Facing a massive political upheaval, and apparently personally shaken, Chancellor Merkel (a trained quantum chemist) declared her commitment to go green. Eight of Germany’s nineteen reactors were soon shut, with plans to close the rest by 2022.

That Europe’s biggest economy was now on a soft path originally mapped out by the counterculture prompted a hard response of well-financed corporate resistance. “You can build a wind farm in three to four years,” groused Henrich Quick of 50 Hertz, a German transmission grid operator.

“Getting permission for an overhead line takes ten years.”

Indeed, the transition is succeeding faster and more profitably than its staunchest supporters imagined. Wind and solar have blasted ahead. Green energy prices have dropped and Germans are enthusiastically lining up to put power plants on their rooftops. Sales of solar panels have skyrocketed, with an ever-growing percentage of supply coming from stand-alone buildings and community projects. The grid has been flooded with cheap, green juice, crowding out the existing nukes and fossil burners, cutting the legs out from under the old system.

In many ways it’s the investor-owner utilities’ worst nightmare, dating all the way back to the 1880s, when Edison fought Tesla. Back then, the industry-funded Edison Electric Institute warned that “distributed generation” could spell doom for the grid-based industry. That industry-feared deluge of cheap, locally owned power is now at hand.

In the United States, state legislatures dominated by the fossil fuel-invested billionaire Koch brothers have been slashing away at energy efficiency and conservation programs. Ohio, Arizona, and other states that had enacted progressive green-based transitions are now shredding them. In Florida, a statewide referendum pretending to support solar power was in fact designed to kill it.

In Nevada, homeowners who put solar panels on their rooftops are under attack. The state’s monopoly utility, with support from the governor and legislature, is seeking to make homeowners who put solar panels on their rooftops pay more than others for their electricity.

But it may be too little, too late. In its agreement with the state, unions, and environmental groups, Pacific Gas and Electric has admitted that renewables could, in fact, produce all the power now coming from the two decaying Diablo nukes. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District shut down its one reactor in 1989 and is now flourishing with a wave of renewables.

The revolution has spread to the transportation sector, where electric cars are now plugging into outlets powered by solar panels on homes, offices, commercial buildings, and factories. Like nuclear power, the gas-driven automobile may be on its way to extinction.

Nationwide, more than 200,000 Americans now work in the solar industry, including more than 75,000 in California alone. By contrast, only about 100,000 people work in the U.S. nuclear industry. Some 88,000 Americans now work in the wind industry, compared to about 83,000 in coal mines, with that number also dropping steadily.

Once the shining hope of the corporate power industry, atomic energy’s demise represents more than just the failure of a technology. It’s the prime indicator of an epic shift away from corporate control of a grid-based energy supply, toward a green power web owned and operated by the public.

As homeowners, building managers, factories, and communities develop an ever-firmer grip on a grassroots homegrown power supply, the arc of our 128-year energy war leans toward Solartopia.

Harvey Wasserman’s Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth is at His Green Power & Wellness Show is at He edits your social media marketing partner


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+48 # DongiC 2017-01-14 14:46
Solartopia is winning the battle to provide power to the public. Just in time too as the climate continues to get warmer. Nukes are going out, coal also. Petroleum and gas don't have too many years left. Hurrah! Hurrah!
+45 # Greg Scott 2017-01-14 16:03
These articles rarely get the kind of comment and interest as the hot button Trumpish ones but they are actually far more important.

Much of the trouble in the world and practically all the trouble in the middle east is related ultimately to our inability, starting in 1947, to supply all of our own energy needs. The CIA installed the Shah of Iran in 1953 and we have not been an impartial actor ever since...and can't possibly be until we don't need the oil.

But Nuclear Energy is a false hope. The need to protect people and the environment from used fissile material for thousands of years outweighs any possible benefits.

The one weakness of solar and wind energy at this moment is the fact that it is intermittent. However technologies for storing it are becoming cheaper and more reliable very quickly. The Tesla powerwall is just a start. And distributed storage means that no major changes need to be made in the existing power grid. And the internet can keep track of and manage it all.

With proper regulation, these distributed storage systems can be monetized for every homeowner.

Wanna make climate deniers irrelevant? Act locally. You might find real common interests among people you think are Trumpsters. Create local solar generation and storage cooperatives. Lobby your stated legislators to advocate for favorable environments.

We started a local solar energy cooperative in West Philly and are getting ordinary homeowners involved and local tradesmen trained.
+14 # ronnewmexico 2017-01-14 16:47
The notion of power being a national issue remains at the front of any thinking on global supply and utilization.

Fact is with modern technology some of which is being applied in China currently a world wide global power grid for about 4 fifths of the worlds population is doable.
The national state by state consideration of power make it inefficient by system and make some forms of energy retrieval undoable. Resistance by transmission lines is now manageable with new technology.
But keeping in mind we could locate power most suited to its developement not on a national basis it makes total sense to develope a global power grid.
Per example perhaps Australia for solar the coastal areas for wind others for geothermal, perhaps some suitable for nuclear. The sun always shines somewhere and the wind also always blows somewhere. Scale make efficienceis manageable.

Guesstimates put the cost at 1 trillion or so. Considering we spend about half that each year in just the defense budget it is certainly doable.

All we need is the will and the idea national power on a state by state basis is inefficient and limits our potentialities.
Think about it….why does it have to be national power? Why?
+4 # economagic 2017-01-14 22:32
Why is a worldwide power grid desirable? Maybe in some remote future when global capital has been vanquished and local control of the commons restored. In the meantime, a global grid simply extends the power of the oligarchy. Neither is it necessary in order to have a reliable energy system, as Greg Scott suggests above.
+1 # ronnewmexico 2017-01-15 12:50
You asked so I will try to answer. First and foremost the knock on renewables is their inability to provide energy under all circumstances and in all times of day. A global grid prevents that.
Secondarily there are places in the third world where they have not the capacity nor means to provide energy in a national sense in any but the cheapest manner. The global community of oligarchs takes advantages of the third world to provide loans in the interest of providing power. These loans serve as a means of control and little regard is paid to environmentally responsible power plants. The third world simply cannot provide power through the newer technologies as they lack the means. So they go and do go to coal and such things.

The control is already there through the IMF and other groups throuigh the means of loan.
Global warming is not so much about our first world as Germany attests our solutions are doable. It is all about the thrid world and the technologies the adopt to generate power.

With a global grid renewable power can be provided to most of the third world where prior they have not the means to do so. We can to a dregree subsidie their needs to confront their problems. What can we now say if a place like Nigeriadecides to go nuclear despite it being a hotbed of terrorism…not much.

With a global grid we become able to provide what the world decide is best in the interests of the world. AGW is a global problem requireing global solutions.
0 # Greg Scott 2017-01-16 22:51

Not sure why my practical posts got deleted, or if you ever saw them, but solar of either kind is very doable by conscientious tradespeople with good skills. Simply participating in a single installation is enough to get them oriented.

Certification is fine but for good people, it's well within their skill set.

The point is that, if enough people do it and enough people install local storage to handle shifting loads and intermittent generation, the worldwide power grid is really unnecessary and renewable energy can literally "empower" homeowners and local communities.

Solar energy is distributed and the profits should be as well. We don't need any more mega corporations.
0 # ronnewmexico 2017-01-15 13:14
Think about the concept perhaps.
What is more efficient... a series of individual power generationa and consumption models based upon nations, or a global power grid that can provide production where it is best suited and provide for consumption in the most efficient manner. Resistance removed there is a great advantage efficiency wise to global grid implementation.

The US for instance due to a lack of regulation mandate from republicans is really not suited to nuclear. A place such as France or the UK perhaps. Nigeria no,not at all due to terrorism threat. And that is just nuclear. Each energy source has a preferred place for efficient operation.
Solar in England not so much. Solar in wouthern France, yes very much so. Perhaps geothemal is the best location for that sort of generation in Iceland. France no. UK no.
And on and on with each generator. Nations are not good efficient ways to decide who provides what. It can be planned who does what and with reason. Now it is all loans and build what you will.

No accident that. But not to the interests of mediating global warming. Those who give the loans generally don't give a fig what type of plant a nation builds. Their concern is the terms of the loan. And that exactly is our current system run by oligarchy.
0 # economagic 2017-01-16 09:49
"Think about the concept perhaps."

Your comments are interesting, but I think you need to do more thinking about the concept yourself, and perhaps gain a little more knowledge of the technologies involved in large-scale long-distance movement of electrical power, not to mention the associated political economy both now and in the future.
0 # ronnewmexico 2017-01-16 20:18
Gain more knowleddge?

You may care to read a book on the subject authored by Liu Zhenha called Global Enwegy Interconnection . Liu states with the technologiies and funding we could globally provide, through means of interconnection , 80% of the global energy consumption annually by renewable resourcesin 2050.

Well who is he to say this or that…he is president of SGCC the largest electricity utility in the world located in China.

His cost however is 50 trillion. My mistake on the 1 trillion, brain fart…
The basis lies in transmission lines in DC as opposed to AC. The longest transmission line per example now is approximately 1400 miles long utilizing current technologies.
-32 # brycenuc 2017-01-14 19:36
Wasserman left out a few important facts in his push for "solartopia"

1. Germany's carbon emissions have inreased with its Energiewende program. Its electricity prices have soared to the second highest in the world. The current cold wave assaulting Europe and Asia have left them without wind or solar for weeks on end precipitaing a real energy crisis.

2. No one, not even plant workers, were exposed to radiation from the meltdown at Fukushima. The only deaths from the reactors were of those who were too sick to survive the evacuation which was totally unnecessary because the radiation was contained. Yet many thousands were killed by the tsunami.

3. The "war on carbon" in the world is a war on life itself. If CO2 levels drop to as low as 150 parts per million from its current 400, all life on earth will cease. The world's greenery and the world's food production have vastly increased because of increased carbon dioxide.

4. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has never been shown to consistently correlate with atmospheric temperature. But periods of high temperature have correlated with historic periods of abundance and well being.

5. There is nothing so ill-advised and even criminal in as the current war on carbon.
-8 # Charles3000 2017-01-14 22:41
The atmosphere had 3% CO2 for a very long period and the earth was in energy balance during that time. The increase to 4% has reduced the thermal loss from the dark side of the earth and unbalanced the thermal balance. The earth must warm more from sunlight to restore the balance.
+4 # Realist1948 2017-01-15 15:58
You may want to check your arithmetic there Charles. 300 parts per million isn't 3 percent -- it's 0.03 percent. Besides your blunders with simple arithmetic, you don't seem to understand what greenhouse gases do. Adding more CO2 (a greenhouse gas) decreases thermal loss at night (which I'm guessing is what you're referring to by the "dark side of the earth").

You might want to brush up on your arithmetic and grade-school science before sharing any more of your wisdom with us.
+5 # JCM 2017-01-14 23:40
Brycenuc: From:

One of the most remarkable aspects of the paleoclimate record is the strong correspondence between temperature and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere observed during the glacial cycles of the past several hundred thousand years. When the carbon dioxide concentration goes up, temperature goes up. When the carbon dioxide concentration goes down, temperature goes down.


In a global analysis of crop yields from 1981 to 2002, there was a negative response of wheat, maize, and barley (Hordeum vulgare) yields to rising temperature, costing an estimated $5 billion per year

Another part of this carbon equation are the more extreme weather patterns due to an increase in energy in the global system. This I would guess will cost us dearly in crops, infrastructure and human suffering.
I grew up by the coast when the carbon count was approximately 325ppm. Seemed pretty nice back then. A hurricane was considered strong when it was about 60 miles/hr and it happened once that I remember in a 10 year period.
+13 # Texas Aggie 2017-01-15 05:15
The right wing has a well-deserved reputation for dishonesty and sleight of hand with words.

1. citations needed because they make no sense whatsoever since cold doesn't affect sunlight or wind.

2. While it may be true that few people have died yet, it is very true that many people have been exposed to radiation and many of those are children whose life expectancies are expected to be shorter than normal due to cancer.

3. CO2 has never been even close to 150 ppm at any time when life has existed. Before the industrial revolution started, the level was over 250 ppm. The reason that food production has increased has a heck of a lot more to do with the Green Revolution with increased use of fertilizer, irrigation and more productive strains of grains than it does with increased CO2. Indeed, increased temperatures are already resulting in decreased production because corn, wheat and soybeans are shutting down their photosynthesis when temperatures go beyond an upper limit that varies with the type of plant involved.

4. The statement that CO2 levels does not correlate with temperatures is false. Check the data on what happened to get out of snowball earth. High temperatures that have correlated with abundance and well-being have never been as high as they are now. That's what it means to be having record temperatures.

5. There is nothing so ill-advised and definitely criminal as denying global warming and condemning our descendants to disaster.
+13 # Realist1948 2017-01-15 08:23
I have issues with your assertions.

1. Electricity in Germany has gotten cheaper. Claims to the contrary appear bogus. As Blomberg reported in 2015: Wind and solar power have surged under Germany’s plan to get as much as 60 percent of its power from renewables by 2035, compared with 28 percent now. The switch is hurting utilities RWE AG and EON SE, the worst performers this year on Germany’s DAX stock index, as margins at their coal and gas-fired plants get squeezed because cheaper green power gets priority to the grid.

2. At Fukushima, at least one containment vessel was ruptured by a hydrogen explosion. In the area around Fuke, radiation levels on the ground are high enough that people are being kept away. The area is judged unsafe for humans.
3. The chances that we'll ever see CO2 levels below 300 PPM (let alone 150) are practically nil. It's doubtful we'll get anywhere below 350 PPM within this century.
4. The correlation between CO2 levels and global average temperature is well established. To say otherwise is simply wrong.
5. Ill-advised? I totally disagree with you, as do nearly all climatologists.
+5 # Questions, questions 2017-01-15 18:09
I too have issues with brycenuc's ridiculous comments above - mainly, that NONE of his listed "facts" are any of the kind! Yes, we seem to be living in a "post-factual" world these days, but "nukies" like him have been dwelling in that unreality for years.

From his comments, I don't suppose brycenuc knows a damn thing about biology. To deny that anyone was exposed to radiation from Fukushima (a flat-out lie) or to suggest that we know the death toll from Fukushima at this early date (most cancers and other health effects take decades to appear - we're just now getting a clearer picture of the horrendous toll from Chernobyl exposures more than 30 years ago) is simply ignorant of the facts behind the mass evacuations from the plant region.

No, the radiation wasn't (and still isn't) "contained" - the containment structures of at least one and probably more of the Fukushima reactors cracked in the hydrogen explosions - necessitating an ongoing extraction and storage/treatme nt of millions of gallons of radioactive groundwater flowing by the reactors every day, to keep it from flowing into the Pacific. And much of the surrounding land will be likely uninhabitable for 300 years, even after "clean up" - some containment!

And sorry, brycenuc - there's no "war on carbon," just a war on corporate fossil-fueled hegemony that is destroying our climate. Based on your ridiculous arguments on carbon, you are clearly on the wrong side of that one.
+2 # economagic 2017-01-16 09:42
This guy is a well-known eccentric who should know better.
+5 # reiverpacific 2017-01-15 10:40
Oregon activists got the Trojan plant closed many years ago just after I came to the US (Portland).
Joining the protestors was my first crack at activism in this country, especially on behalf of the planet.

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