Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In Response to Rudy Fiebiger’s Article “Reader feels Ontario should strive to be nuclear-free” published in the December 28th, 2011 issue of the Kincardine News

Dec. 28, 2011

Dear Editor;

In Response to Rudy Fiebiger’s Article “Reader feels Ontario should strive to be nuclear-free” published in the December 28th, 2011 issue.

Rudy’s letter will without a doubt attract a lot of technical feedback and the vast majority of it will clearly and factually refute Rudy’s letter. I, however, wish to address some issues on the edge of Rudy’s focus.

The all or nothing single minded approach that many wind proponents take is unique to wind proponents and in direct opposition to almost all nuclear proponents. The single minded approach is certainly in clear opposition to the voice of workers in the Nuclear Industry, the Canadian Nuclear Workers’ Council (CNWC), where the optimum electricity grid is seen to be made up of a firm base load of nuclear generation in addition to other traditional generation methods such as hydro electric and fossil and a percentage of renewables such as wind and solar. There are many other organizations, professional, scientific, etc, that would be aligned with the CNWC, but I will limit my remarks to the CNWC aspect.

The CNWC is made up of many affiliated unions and they stretch across all aspects of the nuclear industry. Examples would be the USW, CAW, CEP, IAFF, IBEW, PWU, PSAC, CRTT, SPEA, IAMAW and these workers work in everything from mining / fabrication and generation to medical isotopes and research. This diversity is representative of a large part of the nuclear industry, but given Rudy’s vision of a nuclear free Ontario these jobs, in an already damaged Ontario economy, would disappear as would the life saving isotope work and the lion’s share of the $7.2 billion industry that the Canadian nuclear industry represents; not to mention that 95% of all parts and materials in a CANDU reactor are sourced in Canada. Can’t say that we hear that about almost anything else today!

Rudy’s comments about Bruce employees (“Don't worry Bruce employees; you are not going to lose you fantastic pay cheques and benefits”) demonstrates that ever present lack of understanding so often found in people who refuse to educate themselves about Trade Unionism, and intrinsic to that, the process of collective bargaining and the rights to that under the Charter of Rights of Freedoms. To use Rudy’s words the cheques and benefits came about not as the result of some benevolent entity, employer / government or otherwise, but from 65 years of collective bargaining lead by the Power Workers’ Union and its predecessors and many years of hard nosed collective bargaining by the Society of Energy Professionals and the BTU.

So, Rudy, I am sure that you will get lots of feedback, but on the issues responded to herein you have already lead with your chin and sadly in this case not very credibly.

Dave Trumble, President Grey-Bruce Labour Council

Originally Posted in the Dec. 28th 2011 Issue of the Kincardine News

Reader feels Ontario Should Strive to be Nuclear Free

Posted 1 day ago

Dear Editor,

I have observed with amazement the wind power issue plaguing the Kincardine area for the past few years.

Terms like bewilderment, stunned, dazed and at time stupefied come to mind.

Here we are living next door to a nuclear plant which albeit very safe to today's standards is nevertheless a ticking time bomb which cannot be turned off by just throwing a switch.

Nuclear waste is going to be with us for hundreds if not thousands of years and yet I some 'official' people think it's a good idea to have it buried here in the ground for the next 1,000 years.

I wonder if the people in this area have somehow been brain washed by a very clever pro-nuclear group to think that wind energy will herald Armageddon and destroy this are a beyond recognition. (Don't worry Bruce employees; you are not going to lose you fantastic pay cheques and benefits).

Is this a severe case of the noisy minority getting undeserved air play? In every conflict, the truth is the first casualty.

Yes, wind power needs to be put under more scrutiny before we go ahead and plant them en mass in our landscape but let's be realistic and honest... wind power is a very small menace compared to nuclear power.

Let's open our minds to alternatives in energy generation.

We all want clean energy, reliable energy, and cheap energy... (Easier said than done) but let's keep in mind too that neither of the two mentioned energies can do it alone.

Let's think outside the 'proverbial' box.

Stop the herd thinking and let's be a little more in touch with what lies before us.

A nuclear-free Ontario would be something worth striving for... it can be done.

Rudy Fiebiger Point

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Working / Middle Class Incomes

In many parts of the world exposure to an intense level of commercialism, advertising and marketing is part of the last months and weeks of every year. Curiously the miniature stories portrayed in television commercials and the plethora of full page ads in national newspapers and magazines tells the recipient that the consumer world is flush with people capable of acquiring all the goods, services and the lifestyle displayed. Perhaps this would be true today if the world that existed before the destruction of the middle / working class was launched by the three horseman of economic and working class apocalypse, Regan, Mulroney and Thatcher, and perpetuated by the Harpers, Fords and Canadian Federation of Independent Business type organizations. One way to quantify this is that based solely on the ads one could think that working people are winning and prospering when in every way working people see the level of prosperity that would be needed to access these goods and services intentionally eroded by government and business alike.
There is tragedy and irony in this in that the tragic and needless destruction of middle and working class prosperity is dictated first and foremost by right wing ideology and an unfounded fear that educated, represented and properly compensated working people demanding their fair share of the wealth are to be feared instead of warmly embraced by government and business. Ironically, along with the many working class lives destroyed by these ideological convulsions the very people paying untold millions on the advertising and marketing in hopes of attracting this financially impaired middle class consumer remain silent, or perhaps are complicit in the attacks, when it comes to destruction of working class lives and middle class incomes.
The commercialism associated with the high intensity consumerism of the latter part of each year brings focus and examination that further undermines the ideology that in the context of this letter damages and destroys countless lives while making less and less useful the traditional advertising that shows prosperity as if it is a part of our lives as it was when people across this nation proudly created countless items that said “Made in Canada”. As the advertisers still try and convince the millions now living in much diminished circumstances due to the intentional destruction of Canada’s manufacturing base that this imaginary life is easily accessible it makes it easier and easier to clearly see the failing of the policies that have not only destroyed livelihoods but will continue to do so in an ever widening degree until governments and corporations both realize that prosperity is only ever attained by the widest dispersal of wealth possible.
In 2012 as the Harpers, Fords, and in the US, the ever increasing trend to intolerance and right wing extremism sadly continue to be more and more emboldened one will have to wonder when the progressive change in direction started by the occupy movement will be joined by the same corporations that lose more and more customers as right wing government policy drives more and more workers out of work and less and less into the stores.
Dave Trumble, President Grey-Bruce Labour Council