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A New Strategy For Anti-Nuclear Activists - An Open Letter

By Thomas Dean Harter

17 November, 2012

Dear Fellow Activists,

In my experience, anti-nuclear activism is a difficult, and personally frustrating, endeavor. The current Fukushima disasters and the court decision allowing the Vermont Yankee reactor to continue operation are indicative of both the seriousness of the problem and the intractable nature of the vested moneyed mafias behind the coal and nuclear power/weapons industries. Whenever our tactics fail, and they often do fail, we cannot simply double down on those failed tactics, and hope by more diligence, to achieve better results. Better results are rarely achieved. And when results are positive, successful activists tend to be jailed (like Tim DeChristopher or Julian Assange). Or, as happened here in the U.S. in the seventies, they are simply murdered.

Different tactics are, therefore, in order here, at this crucial time, when, against all sanity and reason, and with the collusion of both political parties, mountain tops are being devastated and nuclear reactors and weapons continue to proliferate.

Recently, I was intrigued when Germany, a large industrial country, turned away from nuclear power even though the move was largely without precedent. I began to seek reasons for this unexpected shift, and I believe that I now understand the methods employed, as well as the motives, behind this change.

Consider the attached video, which talks about how Ursula Sladek and the Parents for a Nuclear-Free Future purchased their local power grid and quit using energy from nuclear sources: http://www.fastcompany.com/1747035/ursula-sladek-taking-back-grid-video

With less money and less effort than are currently spent yearly by environmental groups, we could purchase our portion of the grid. It just makes sense for activists to switch tactics and become utility owners ourselves. The laws that are now written to favor the owners would then favor us and we would still have moral high ground that we now enjoy. By combining funding efforts, small groups could organize to buy their local section of the grid. In less than twenty years, this continent could be converted to run on renewable energies.

By decentralizing the power production, transmission losses and need for base load overcapacity can be greatly reduced. Consider that, by using power cell technology, the cost of primary fuel inputs can be reduced by fifty percent. Consider that there are new technologies in solar and wind which have now reduced the cost of the power produced to less than the cost of equivalent coal-based electrical generation.

Further, by the use of cleaner technologies such as solar and micro-hydro, we, as the local producers of cleaner power, can cut out the overhead cost of buying-off politicians, lobbyists, judges, and scientists.

I believe that the best time to embrace a clearly new approach is now. I am reaching out to you, as well as to the other activists that I know.

I ask you to consider working with me to create this change in direction. Let's work together to form power co-ops to purchase our nearest and dirtiest portion of the grid.

As has been demonstrated in Germany, it can be done. Why should we continue to use the current methods of petition, demonstration, and resistance, or waste more time, hope, and effort, only to experience more frustration and failure?

Let's work together on a real-world plan to buy our portion of the grid and convert to cleaner, safer, cheaper, and healthier renewable energy sources. We could all breathe easier.

Thomas Dean Harter

Thomas Harter, auto-didactic, poet ,and anarchist, would be glad to speak to you and your group. I have been anti nuclear for over thirty years. I am sixty one years old. I do not avow any credentials. Further, I offer no allegiances to any corporation, church, or worldly power. My latest concerns are the news blackout and neglect surrounding Fukushima for which we have no known remedies.



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