papers on Energy,
Grattan Healy BE Mech MBA
based on 'Technical Sheets' prepared for the Green Group in the European Parliament
in connection with the European Elections, as Adviser to the Group on Energy & Research
A Green energy policy would lead to a cleaner environment, locally and globally, a green economy, peace, decentralization, employment, and so, overall, to a better quality of life. After having saved a substantial proportion of the energy we now use, via energy taxation and other measures, we would draw most of our energy needs from non-polluting and inexhaustible renewable sources, produced locally. That would lead to far cleaner energy production, and especially the avoidance of carbon dioxide and nuclear radiation, while leaving landscapes more intact. Countries would become less dependent on unreliable energy imports, and the global struggle for control of dwindling energy resources would radically decline, leading to fewer Gulf wars. The local production of renewable energy would mean more employment, locally, leading overall to a more amenable and sustainable world. The European Commission has reported enormous potential, for example, in offshore wind energy (1995 Joule Study, Jour 72), so that such a policy is possible, and only requires the appropriate political action.
The progress of renewables is mixed. While many countries profess support for renewables and some have very effective promotion measures, their major energy industries and even their own policies prevent the development of renewables. The fact that energy prices do not include external costs, especially for fossil fuels and nuclear, inhibits the development of renewables, and we have seen the results recently of attempts to change this situation, both at European Council level and in Germany. This problem has been heavily reinforced by the recent opening of the EU Internal Electricity Market, without proper provision for the development of renewables. So while Member States can make all the positive noises they like about renewables, they can also be sure that the interests of their energy industries are protected by the rules of the internal market, dutifully implemented by the competition obsessed European Commission.
The greatest growth in renewables to date has taken place in Germany, Denmark and now Spain, because they have guaranteed price systems, while the UK, France and Ireland have meagre results because they have systems based on tendering for capacity quotas. Yet the recent efforts of the European Commission have favoured the latter and sought to inhibit or eliminate the former, in particular its complaint against the German Einspeizegesetz (In-feed law), its draft directive in response to the request of the European Parliament, which was withdrawn, and recent reports in this area. The language used by the Commission in these documents is rather significant, for example describing the guaranteed price systems as fixed-price systems, which they are not, and describing the tendering type systems as competition-based systems, implying that the former exclude competition, which they do not. The rules proposed by the Commission in its draft directive and the other statements it makes imply an end to the guaranteed price systems because they deviate from strict competition rules. In other words, the Commission accepts that the rapid development of renewables comes second to its obsession with competition, despite its statements and targets, and the suspicion is that it is also defending the existing energy industries.
At this stage in the development of renewables, and given that external costs are not included via an energy taxation system, it is either naive or foolish or even malevolent to suggest that price competition is the key to the development of renewables. If that were the case, they would be developed by now, and would need no support. They actually need support because raw competition under present circumstances is holding them back, and that support system has to protect them from a price point of view. However, it is also true that competition encourages innovation and efficiency improvements, and a successful system will have to incorporate this important aspect.
And here we come to the heart of the matter. There are in fact two levels of competition at work here, namely electricity price competition and equipment price competition. We clearly need to protect renewables from excessive electricity price competition, but maintain a high level of competition between equipment manufacturers so as to encourage rapid technological development. Under these criteria, it is clear that guaranteed price systems are vastly superior, as they both protect renewables from excessive electricity price competition and yet encourage equipment price competition since there are so many equipment buyers. On the other hand, tendering type systems force renewables into damaging price competition, and since there are fewer equipment buyers, there is less equipment price competition. This analysis shows by the former is so successful and the latter so ineffective.
Another matter that often arises is the question of planning permission for renewables, and those supporting the tendering type systems, including the Commission, see a need for less strict rules in connection with wind power in particular. This again is a rather shallow analysis, in that it avoids the key point - winners of tendering contracts tend to be large outside firms with no local participation, which is resented by the communities. Guaranteed price systems encourage locals and communities to invest in renewable energies thereby minimizing local objections, another serious advantage of these systems, conveniently overlooked by the European Commission amongst others. And such systems are also self-financing, in that the guaranteed prices assure loan support for the projects, so that really the only for of support need is on the price itself.
The whole key to the rapid development of renewables is for Member States to choose the appropriate systems for both supporting and protecting renewables in the electricity market. It is clear that in the absence of a comprehensive energy taxation system, member states who are serious will choose the guaranteed price system, and those whose primary aim is to protect their existing energy industries will choose the tendering type system. All other issues relating to renewables are secondary, and most of the other proposals outlined by the Commission and others, such as one million rooves, while welcome, would primarily compensate for the lack of a proper support system.
A green energy policy is of course one of the central platforms of the Green Group, and in particular the rapid development of renewable energies. The Group fought for wide-ranging environmental elements in the Electricity Market Directive and when these were not accepted, recognized that the Electricity Market could, and probably would, present a threat to renewables. That is why the Group sought an additional Network Access of In-Feed Directive dedicated to electricity from renewables, and why such a Directive is being debated. However, progress on this idea has been poor, and following the mishandling of it by Parliament, the Commission has proceeded in the wrong direction, even threatening the good support systems that already exist. The draft Directive that the Energy Commissioner, Christos Papoutsis, recently withdrew, while proposing targets, presented just such a threat. Gaining those targets would not have been worth it, if the only measures which can bring real growth in renewables had been compromised. The report on this matter just released by the Commission, while slightly better, still goes in the wrong direction, as outlined already. Clearly the Group, together with the Green government representatives, will have to press very hard for a better proposal, which at least doesnt compromise the guaranteed price systems, and which allows Member States to choose whichever system they prefer. Otherwise, any Directive would take us backwards, and only serve the interests of the fossil fuel and nuclear industries.
For the Group the central aspect of the forthcoming EU Action Plan on Renewables will be a Network Access Directive, which would give renewables an automatic right of access to the electricity grid, and preferably guarantee reasonable prices, or at least allow such guarantees, including what is known as Full Cost Rates for the less economic technologies, such as solar power. Other crucial, but secondary, aspects of the plan could be: targets for the proportion of renewables for the individual Member States, net-billing, electricity eco-labelling, use of building regulations for encouraging renewables, proper funding for ALTENER II, promotion of biowaste for energy and fertilizer and renewable CHP. Incineration of waste is not a renewable source of energy any more than it is environmental or sustainable, and instead waste has to be separated, reused, recycled and so on.
All of the above should also be linked with the Joule and Thermie programmes under the 5th Framework Research Programme (total budget 1042 mecu), where the greens have sought to make demonstration projects for renewables the main priority. Renewables should form a more significant part of the reformed structural funds and the revised common agricultural policy. Most importantly, eco-energy taxes will favour renewables, due to their almost negligible external costs, and will therefore be an enormous boost to their overall development.
Euratom and Nuclear Power
Nuclear power is a dying technology, at least in the western world, though the process is a lot slower than it should be, considering the massive public antipathy, especially since the Chernobyl accident in April 1986. Six of the EU Member States never started nuclear power (Austria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal) and four have decided to phase it out (Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Sweden). And the two nuclear weapons states, France and the UK, plus Belgium, Finland and Spain have de-facto moratoria in place.
Climate change looks like a lifeline to the nuclear industry, and they have not been slow to put out their latest propaganda and take part in climate negotiations, so as to promote the lie that nuclear power is CO2 free, even sustainable (they sometimes even try to describe fusion as renewable!). Proper 'full cycle analysis' such as that carried out by the German Öko Institut shows that in fact CO2 is produced at various stages in the process, such as mining, enrichment and plant construction, and even reprocessing if used, but much of that is produced, conveniently, in some other country.
The 'peaceful atom' was always intended as a lie. The purpose was to cover up the fact that the nuclear powers wished to build numerous power stations as well as reprocessing plants for producing plutonium and other radioactive materials for nuclear weapons. It was actually known from the start that nuclear power was uneconomic, too centralized, dependant on external supplies of uranium which in turn cause human rights problems in the mining areas, a massive accident and proliferation risk and very environmentally damaging, not to mention extremely harmful to living systems. But these issues are still not fully clear, even today, because of the 'atoms for peace' propaganda intended to defend the military interest in using nuclear for weapons of mass destruction.
Despite the decline of nuclear power in Europe, the EU continues to waste massive resources on promoting, researching and developing it, via the Euratom Treaty. It was one of the three original treaties of the European Union, and still maintains the 'atoms for peace' lie in a legal constitutional form, so as to "permit the advancement of the cause of peace" (Recital 1) "by creating the conditions necessary for the speedy establishment and growth of nuclear industries" (Article 1). While the European Parliament has a major say on the EU Budget, it has, exceptionally, no real control over the activities which take place under the anachronistic and non-transparent Euratom Treaty.
The European nuclear industry, having been badly hit by Chernobyl, has turned that around into a business opportunity. They have made millions of Ecu working on nuclear safety projects in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, funded largely by the EU. However, EU Court of Auditors Special Report No 25/98 on the PHARE-TACIS nuclear safety programmes recently showed that no real safety improvement has taken place, as we have claimed for years (and was shown in a Parliament STOA study commissioned at the initiative of the Greens), so that over 800 Mecu have been largely wasted on producing reports.
And yet, the European Commission is currently considering three safety related Euratom loans, for the completion of Khmelnitski 2 and Rovno 4 (k2/r4) in the Ukraine as part of the Chernobyl closure agreement, for Kallinin unit 3 in Russia and for Kozloduy units 5 & 6 in Bulgaria, all Soviet designed reactors. These projects neatly illustrate the sort of problems associated with the EU Enlargement negotiations as far as the safety of nuclear power plants is concerned. Ukrainian President, Kuchma, has written that his country originally wanted gas-fired stations as part of the Chernobyl closure deal, but the G7, looking after the interests of their nuclear industries, forced the Ukraine to accept the completion of these two VVER 1000 MW reactors, whose construction had been abandoned after the collapse of the USSR, and which have not been that well preserved in their incomplete state.
The Least Cost Study on this project carried out by a panel led by Prof John Surrey of SPRU at Sussex University showed that they were far from least cost, and yet the Commission and G7 continue to press the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to fund these reactors (190 Mecu), alongside Euratom's 400 Mecu, in breach of all rational procedures, technical and financial concerns. Energy saving is clearly the least cost investment in the Ukraine, where energy intensity is an order of magnitude higher than in the EU, a situation common to the former Eastern block states.
Kozloduy illustrates another crucial aspect of this problem. Units 1-4 are of the more dangerous VVER 440-230 type, and should be closed forthwith. Bulgaria made a closure agreement with the Nuclear Safety Account run by the EBRD for the G24 countries in return for finance, but the conditions attached had to be carried out by Bulgaria, allowing them to legitimately extend the closure dates by not meeting those conditions, which they have now done.
In both cases the interests of the Western nuclear industry takes precedence over everything else, something that must be changed during the rest of the Enlargement negotiations - firm dates without escape clauses for the reactors are essential as a pre-condition for entry to the EU. It is of course worth noting that there are equally dangerous nuclear installations in the EU, such as the UK Magnox reactors, which have no secondary containment, not to mention all of the unstable high level waste and other dangerous materials associated with the UK and French reprocessing plants (something not found in Eastern Europe).
Nuclear power will leave a heritage of nuclear waste, for tens of thousands of generations to come. But, a more subtle heritage is to be found in the permanently altered genetic stock of every living thing on the planet. Atmospheric nuclear weapons testing was the first of many reckless activities to spread radio-isotopes all over the planet, which is why the military scientists made sure that radiation standards were set at an unreasonably high levels, so as to avoid consequent claims against the weapons states that they had compromised the heath of the human race. This problem is still with us today, as the science is manipulated, prevented or simply neglected, which shows that despite the reductions in levels, they are still way too high, as was demonstrated in a Parliament workshop initiated by the Greens, the basis of a STOA study published on this matter. What is worse, the Radiation Standards Directive (Euratom/96/29), which should protect the public and workers as from 2000, actually has features which facilitates the dilution and recycling of radioactive waste, so that consumer products might even contain these materials and no one would know. A radical revision is urgently needed, before these materials are released. And the new areas of radiation protection research need to be urgently pursued by the EU, such as Genomic Instability and DNA mini-satellite research, so that we find out the long term effects of low level exposure.
The 'vampire effect' is a rather appropriate means to tackle the nuclear industry in the EU - "they can't stand the light". Transparent democratic scrutiny inevitably leads to the reduction or cancellation of programs, which explains why Euratom remains outside democratic control. Parliament as a whole would like an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) to change the EU Treaties, so as to bring Euratom under democratic control, and would also like an Energy Chapter in the EC Treaty to give what is called a 'legal base' to other energy activities, such as renewables, which cannot currently be funded and promoted the way nuclear power is. The Greens would prefer to go further and have Euratom dedicated to phasing out nuclear power and cleaning up the mess, and if that is done, to transfer Euratom into an Energy Chapter which would also include power to promote sustainable energy, while giving Parliament the full right of codecision on all aspects of energy policy. Once Euratom is democratized and re-oriented towards phasing out nuclear power, the EU could develop rules on decommissioning and related issues, possibly in a Directive.
These might include a preference for securely 'entombing' nuclear installations rather than dismantling them, keeping all waste safely on site including very low level waste, looking at the advantages and risks (mainly of proliferation) of various nuclear waste solutions, a preference against any nuclear transports, an end to 'nuclear waste tourism', and the highest possible standards for any remaining unavoidable transports, ending spent fuel reprocessing, insurance bonds to guarantee the payment of decommissioning and waste storage costs, separate accounting for nuclear installations, a nuclear safety convention for the phase-out and post phase-out periods, revision of the civil liability convention, if necessary, to allow Member States to seek full indemnity from their nuclear industries, making them fully responsible for any damages for contamination or accidents.
However, the key point is that the Greens and anti-nuclear movement are not about to solve the industry's waste problem, so that it can continue to produce, and operate its plants. Instead a European wide solution to the whole problem will be sought once there is a definite decision to end nuclear power.
Finally, to give Parliament the maximum say on Euratom Loans, we have again used transparency, by amending the Budget and will continue to try to amend the Guarantee Fund Regulation. We would also like to link safety funds strictly with closure, since otherwise, all the EU is doing is extending the lives of these dangerous reactors. Rather than creating an indefinite need for safety funds, the EU should vigorously pursue closure of all nuclear plants, and save funds for sustainable energy development throughout Europe. While on safety, any nuclear installation worldwide not absolutely 'millennium bug proof' has to be shut down, preferably permanently, on December 31st this year, to avoid the even greater risks of further Chernobyl type accidents. On the related question of nuclear safeguards, not enough is being done by the EU to avoid proliferation, by controlling all nuclear materials, and even the annual reports of the Safeguards Directorate are no longer available, apparently due to lack of funds.
Our societies are addicted to energy. That dependency is being worsened by the current downward pressure on the price of energy, due to falling fossil fuel prices, combined with the switch to cheaper gas, as well as energy market liberalization in the EU and globally, the development of EU Trans-European Energy Networks, and the fortunate stagnation, for both political and economic reasons, of the more expensive nuclear energy option. These circumstances do not offer any incentive to save energy or use it more efficiently or sustainably, and on the contrary, encourage greater consumption, and waste, resulting in ongoing pollution and the growing threat to the global climate. Greenpeace estimate that 75% of known of fossil fuel reserves will have to stay in the ground to avoid a climate disaster. However, on the contrary, we are rapidly depleting valuable those natural resources, created over millions of years, with little regard to other potentially sustainable long-term uses for some of these materials where carbon would not be released to atmosphere.
We are once again becoming very heavily dependent on imported energy (predicted to soon reach 70%!), leaving us as vulnerable as we were before the oil crises in the 70s, maybe even more so. The whole nature of our societies is under threat, since we have made them dependent on resources which will run out, a lot sooner than we think (since the oil-states overestimate their reserves to get higher production quotas). And those fossil fuels may in any case become prohibitively expensive long before they are gone, with enormous economic consequences. Those economies which drastically reduce their energy use, and shift to local permanent energy sources (ie: renewables), will not be weakened by the oncoming energy shortages and should therefore ultimately survive.
And furthermore, through the process of fossil fuel importation, we contribute to a high level of global instability, especially in the oil-rich regions like the Gulf and the Caspian area, where we can expect many future Gulf wars. Energy is used to make war, and war is made to obtain energy, and we must break out of this vicious circle if there is ever to be peace in this world.
Yet there are enormous and growing pressures to change this situation, not the least of which are the binding greenhouse gas commitments entered into at Kyoto, as well as the growth in environmental awareness of the European public, giving rise to a deep desire for real sustainability. That includes a demand for an end to nuclear power, which is definitely not seen as a solution, due to its ongoing environmental effects, its accident risks and its economic cost, while it must also be remembered that the fuel is generally imported, leading to environmental destruction and the abuse of human rights in the mining areas, as well as the release of carbon dioxide.
Getting more services out of a given amount of energy (improving energy efficiency) is a worthy goal, but taken in isolation, is insufficient to solve the problem. The development of our industrial societies illustrates this well, since the increases in the efficiency of the use of energy led to economic growth, which in turn led to greater demand for services, so that the overall effect has always been an increase in energy demand. Simply put, as an example, more energy efficient cars are used more, so that there is no net energy saving - all we end up with is ever larger traffic jams.
And the way that energy is sold today provides little incentive for efficiency, since power and fuel companies want to sell more energy rather than energy based services. Ways must be found to encourage energy companies to instead sell services (light, heat, motive power, travel etc), to create a greater incentive towards efficiency. Also, a system called Integrated Resource Planning (IRP, the same principle as Demand Side Management) has much to offer energy companies. It seeks to couple energy saving and investment decisions, in such a way that it is better for those companies to invest in saving than new power capacity.
But in the end, to really see results, energy must also be made more expensive to users, not less, so as to restore the incentive to save it. Prices must steadily increase by virtue of eco-energy taxation, which as far as possible tries to take account of the external costs of the various energy types (these can in many cases only be estimated, since for example human life cannot have a monetary value). In that way nuclear will be phased out much more quickly, and business and private consumers will be far more careful about their use of fossil fuels, ukltimately preferring renewables instead.
There are special circumstances where even higher prices will not be effective, and special measures must be taken. This occurs where the investment and operating decisions are not made by the same people. A clear example is a house that is rented (another might be hire vehicles). The owner will build with the least costly materials, neglecting energy saving insulation and windows etc. The tenant is then stuck using larger than necessary amounts of energy and also paying higher bills. Again, a means must be found to encourage the owners in such situations to invest in energy saving, through rebates or standards, or by compensating tenants for investing on their behalf.
In most of the above cases, the alternative measures have the further benefit of being more labour-intensive (energy saving in buildings, renewables etc). In the end, the combination of eco-energy taxes and the many other initiatives mentioned are sufficient to radically reduce our energy demand, while actually improving the employment situation, reducing radically our rather risky dependence on largely imported fossil fuels, and in particular leaving us the space to quickly get out of nuclear power, completely. The production of the goods we need will become more energy sensitive, leading overall to a more amenable and sustainable world.
Since energy is wasted because it is too cheap, the key tools for saving it are Eco-energy Taxes. These would incorporate measurable external costs, and estimates of other costs, into the prices of energy, and would also therefore shift energy production towards sustainable sources. Nuclear power should be taxed on a kilowatt-hour production basis, to make the taxation similar to that for fossil fuels, and a further prohibitive tax should be imposed for the use of plutonium as a fuel. The biggest growth in energy consumption is in the transport sector, where special measures will be required to reverse this trend, through greater use of public transport, greater vehicle efficiency, and alternative fuels from renewable sources. The current proposal from the European Commission, based merely on adjustment of excise duties, is a very modest attempt, after the rejection of the previous proposals, and yet even this one has hit obstacles with the Member States, who are clearly completely inconsistent in the energy policy area, especially on their climate change commitments.
The Greens welcome the recent beginning of a discussion on an EU Action Plan for Energy Saving, in addition to the one for renewables, and feel that it should amongst other things include:
- binding energy savings targets for Member States,
- promotion of Integrated Resource Planning (IRP), if necessary by reviving the Directive,
- measures to encourage the marketing of energy services as opposed to energy per se, (eg: developing intelligent electricity metering),
- measures to link investment and operating energy decisions (eg: energy standards for buildings),
- combined heat and power (CHP), since without use of heat, electricity generation wastes 50% or more of input energy; encourage incorporation of generation capacity into district heating systems, to make them CHP; also the removal of the discrimination against CHP in the Gas Market Directive, and introduce measures instead to favour it,
- waste recycling to save the energy required to refine new materials, especially aluminium which is highly energy intensive,
- the use of building regulations to set standards for energy saving in buildings (as well as the use of renewables),
- proper funding of the SAVE Programme within the EU Energy Framework Programme;
- appropriate revisions to the Internal Electricity & Gas Markets, which currently push in the opposite direction.
All experience to date indicates that only legislative measures, which nevertheless respect subsidiarity, have any impact in this otherwise unexciting area, since the results are hard to see, unlike with renewables for example. The Action Plan should be coordinated with EU research on the rational use of energy, for example on the use of intelligent electricity metering and on technologies and standards to avoid stand-by losses in electrical and electronic equipment (the EU Council as usual favours a voluntary agreement, but this is completely inadequate).
EU Enlargement policy should also focus on this approach rather than wasting funds on nuclear safety, where those plants should simply be closed. Promotion of the Trans-European Energy Networks must be ended, because that is taking us in the wrong direction, towards greater centralization, waste of energy and away from local production and saving.
Electro-Magnetic (EM) weapons are one of the newest and most serious military developments in the world today. Enormous secrecy surrounds their development, which is helped by the fact that they rely on the complex physics of non-ionizing radiation and on bio-electromagnetics. They can be broadly broken down into two categories - those aimed at the environment and those aimed at living systems, or in reality the human central nervous system. In the case of the environment, very large quantities of energy can be literally 'broadcast', like radio, to create certain special environmental effects - radical changes in the ionosphere to affect communications, and possibly even the weather, as well as reflection to earth to perform such feats as x-raying the earth to find underground installations, possibly large transfers of energy to power equipment, or to apply destructive forces anywhere on earth, including EMP effects (Electro-Magnetic Pulse, associated with nuclear explosions), and simpler tasks like submarine communication, using very long waves. The more sinister aspect concerns the ability to use low energy density waves of particular frequencies and special waveforms to literally 'tune into' the human central nervous system (CNS), something that has been achieved in the laboratory, according to publicly available scientific literature. This might be done on an individual scale, to temporarily or perhaps permanently alter psychological states, so as to elicit certain behaviours from human beings. It is alleged that many victims have been tested involuntarily for decades now with this technology. It is also suggested that these weapons have been used in some actions, most especially the Gulf War and against the Greenham Common women in the UK. In this case they would have a mass effect, in that they are aimed at large groups. This use is sought not only by the military, but, alarmingly, by the police forces as well, clearly for the purpose of controlling unruly domestic populations. Once achieved, such a system might become irreversible, or unstoppable. The subject came to the attention of the Green Group in 1996, and we have slowly developed a knowledge base and large archive in this highly specialized area. Several special meetings culminating in a Foreign Affairs Committee Parliamentary Hearing have been held at the European Parliament as a result, and finally the Group managed in early January '99, with the help of interested Members in other Groups, to have Parliament pass a resolution referring very critically to this subject. This subject also has very serious implications for standard setting for non-ionizing radiation, because the levels of exposure at which one can manipulate the human being are very low indeed, since it is the tuning and the waveform which matter, not the levels, which is the reason that Russian exposure standards are apparently 1000 times lower than the US standards. Setting standards suited to the use of mobile phones and power lines, so as to avoid the long term health effects, while very desirable indeed, may not even be low enough to prevent the use of these weapons, and may even legalize their use, something the Greens must be very careful of, since we have been responsible for this subject to date in the European Parliament (Lannoye, Belgium and Tamino, Italy). Ideally, for now, we should exclude military sources, specifically weapons, as opposed to communications equipment, from EU legislation on non-ionizing radiation altogether.
It is worth comparing the standard setting processes for non-ionizing and for ionizing radiation, as they are remarkably similar. The military, via the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), played a major role in originally setting ionizing standards at ridiculously high levels by burying or ignoring the science, leading to the need for continuous reductions in the acceptable exposure levels. Something similar appears to happening with non-ionizing radiation, in that a very similar unelected 'independent' advisory committee (ICNIRP - International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) has offered advice in this area, which is accepted blindly by the European Commission, despite the fact that, once again, much of the science is being ignored, and the precautionary principle, for some odd reason, seems not to apply. The fact that two of the US representatives on ICNIRP are associated with the military has echoes of the past, and is most suspicious. The focus of public attention so far has been a project in Alaska called HAARP (High frequency Active Auroral Research Program), which is a massive 'array' transmitter designed to manipulate the ionosphere for military purposes - communications effects, earth x-rays, and possibly weather manipulation (despite conventions banning this). But the range of uses of this basic technology is very wide, much wider than its predecessor, ionizing radiation (nuclear). The primary difference is that electromagnetic waves can be 'tuned' so as to have certain effects on living systems, whereas the 'chaotic' nature of ionizing radiation does not facilitate this and the result of exposure to it is normally direct damage only. As stated above, scientists have been able to 'tune' EM to facilitate remote direct communication with the central nervous systems of living creatures, and they are of course especially interested in using this fact to manipulate human beings. According to their own official documentation, the military and the police themselves are planning to use these technologies to control populations. They were used in a crude form by the Soviets against the US Moscow embassy in the '60s with fatal consequences for the ambassador himself, and it is believed that they were used in what is called a 'superfence' against the Greenham Common women, and also to demotivate the Iraqi troops during the Gulf War. The Soviets tried in the 70s to prevent an arms race in this area by means of a Convention, but the US rejected these efforts, and has moved ahead very rapidly, also within NATO, into a dominant position. Unless this development is stopped, we are entering an Orwellian '1984' type scenario, which could potentially permanently transfer enormous power to those in control of the technology. It must also be seen in the wider context of the one-sided arms race currently underway, where the US is re-arming, by continuing with 'Star Wars', and is aiming to be totally dominant in 'Space Power' by 2020. Electromagnetic weapons play a key role here, alongside ABMs, lasers and particle beam weapons.
We are of course totally opposed to the development and deployment of these weapons. We regard the unsuccessful attempts in the '70s of the former Soviet Union to have these weapons controlled by a UN Convention as having been a major missed opportunity, which has now led to a new arms race in this field. We have sought to renew the attempt to have a Convention to outlaw these weapons and the research that leads to them, primarily that concerning external manipulation of the human central nervous system. We are alarmed that, already, the US is moving towards deployment of ABMs, in Alaska for example, in breach of the 1972 ABM Treaty (possibly arguing that the USSR no longer exists!), and is also developing weather modification weapons, which would breach the 1977 UN ENMOD Convention. Adherence to these existing Treaties is absolutely essential from our point of view.
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created May '98, last modified 2.6.99