Article by Tom Gillesberg in the German newspaper Neue Solidarität Nr. 6, 7. Februar 2007.

New politics in Europe: Denmark discusses nuclear energy

On January 30, one of the biggest Danish newspapers, Berlingske Tidende, dropped what in Denmark is the equivalent of a political nuclear bomb. On the front page of the newspaper was a huge nuclear symbol, and in big letters: "Nuclear Power – Yes Please." By doing this, they took an action that has otherwise been exclusively taken by the Schiller Institute and The LaRouche Youth Movement in Denmark, in challenging those preconceived notions from the 1968-culture paradigm, which prevented Denmark from ever having any commercial nuclear power plant (until recent years Denmark did have a test reactor in Risø, but it has now been closed down). Instead of having cheap, efficient and reliable nuclear energy, Denmark became a leader in “renewable energy,” that now contributes 15 percent of the Danish energy needs, and a “world leader” in windmills, exporting windmills all over the world, and having them throughout the country.

Now, leading circles are realizing that the time has come to challenge these axioms. On January 31, Berlingske Tidende printed an editorial with the headline, "Nuclear Power, yes please – at least to the debate." The time has come to throw away the prejudices and discuss facts – we have an interest in participating” (see box).

At the same time, the biggest Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten (known from the infamous Mohamed cartoons) on the 29 and 30 of January, launched front page attacks on the recently stated policy of the Danish government of increasing the “renewable energy” part of Danish energy consumption to 30 percent – primarily through having more windmills in Denmark. Jyllands-Posten reported that in 2005, wind energy cost the Danish consumers 225 million euros (around 115 euros per household) and that the Danish state accountants, in a new report, have estimated that the cost to support “green energy” in Denmark, is almost 3 billion euros, for the years 2001-2005 (around 1,450 euros per household).

Jyllands-Posten reported that the special guarantied electricity price windmill owners get, costs Danish consumers billions, and that the absurd situation exists, that when electricity prices go down, consumers have to pay more, since they have to subsidize windmill production of electricity. On top of that, there has to be a complete infrastructure for producing the needed electricity without the windmills, because sometimes the wind doesn’t blow. In an editorial January 30, Jyllands-Posten, under the headline “Monster mills,” attacked the idea of filling up Denmark with huge monster windmills that are expensive and unreliable. They end by stating, “Nuclear power still seems to be a taboo here in the country, even though it is being debated, with renewed strength, in other parts of Europe. Since the problems associated with the storage of nuclear waste are continually being reduced, the possibility [of having nuclear energy] cannot be excluded.”


The role of the Schiller Institute and LaRouche Youth Movement

Where did this sudden change in Denmark come from? One would hope that it is simply the result of wising up, but it did get a strong helping hand. In the spring of 2006 the Danish Schiller Institute decided to follow the lead of the LaRouche movement in the USA, and begin to mass distribute literature to the institutions, and on the street, that challenged the axioms of the present 1968-inspired political and cultural paradigm, and presented the needed changes.

In April a statement by the chairman Tom Gillesberg with the headline “The Bobble is bursting. Who takes leadership? A new dark age or a coming renaissance” got widely distributed and put forth the necessity of dealing with the oncoming crises of the global financial system, and the need for a cultural change that brings in scientific thinking and nuclear power.

In July, the Schiller Institute then published 50,000 copies of a campaign newspaper called “New Deal,” (equivalent to around one percent of the Danish population). The 12-page color paper (see detailed the problems of the present derivative-based financial system, and presented the solution in form of the LaRouche-proposed New Bretton Woods-system. The paper also presented a proposal for a nationwide Danish maglev-system, and the new German developed PBMR (pebble-bed) nuclear technology that Denmark ought to be part of.

In December, the Schiller Institute issued 50.000 copies of a new campaign newspaper, on the need to change Danish foreign policy. With the title, “From Crusader to Bridge Builder,” and a front page picture of a proposed bridge from Puttgarten in Denmark, across the Femern Belt to Germany, it called for Denmark to drop out of the "Coalition of the Willing" with Bush and Cheney, and to replace it with an alliance with the American opposition around Lyndon LaRouche – before we have a war against Iran. The paper included a translation of the post-midterm election webcast with Lyndon LaRouche from November 17. It also had an article about the promise of the shift to a fission- and fusion-based isotope economy.


New Politics for Europe

The changing wind in Denmark is a reflection of a greater political shift that is ongoing globally. The recent elections in the USA showed that we are in a new political geometry. Small political forces can provoke a paradigm shift, and cause great political results, if they place the needed issues on the table, and don’t limit the political discussion to closed circles, but take it to the streets, and especially the youth. From that standpoint, it is great news for Europe that there is a reinvigorated LaRouche campaign present, with the European branches of the LaRouche Youth Movement and the Schiller Institute, and national political campaigns such as BüSo and the French presidential election campaign of Jacques Cheminade. The developments in Denmark, like the ones in the USA, once again prove the point.


BOX: Editorial in Berlingske Tidende January 31st, 2007:

Nuclear Power, yes please – at least to the debate

The time has come to throw away the prejudices and discuss facts – we have an interest in participating.

  For twenty years no politician has seriously dared to mention the possibility of nuclear power in Denmark ; unless the person with kamikaze like defeatism wanted to avoid being elected. But the time must have come for us to renew the debate – based on facts not prejudices. With the increasing worry over CO2 emission, environment problems, possible climate changes, oil dependence on doubtful regimes and a wish to keep our lifestyle the Western World cannot avoid considering nuclear power as part of the future energy supply.

If we don’t do it others will do it for us. In Asia the nuclear power is expanding, and if the Worlds poorest countries should have the opportunity to improve the living conditions of their populations, it takes a lot of energy. And preferably energy that does not contribute to further deterioration of the environment.

In that connection nuclear power is a strong card. It is an effective and practically pollution free energy source that can supply great areas for a moderate investment. The price to pay is the problems with waste that is still not solved adequately. A price we leave the coming generations to pay. [Fortunately not true, it has been solved –tg]. That problem has to be solved through expanded research on that area; but the energy policy we have today with mainly coal powered power plants also has consequences for the future. In the end it is a question of weighing the risks and the costs.

Denmark is on this issue like on others in a cozy little corner. We are not dependent on anybody else for our energy and we have the possibility to expand the renewable energy, as is being proposed in the energy proposal from the government. But in the palate of alternative energy sources a nuclear power plant on Danish soil could be a possibility.

It is in any case unfruitful to automatically reject the thought. We already have nuclear power plants within geographic reach. Finland is expanding its energy supply with the up until now biggest nuclear power plant in the World and in Sweden the government is considering strengthening the nuclear power. For over 30 years Barsebäck [a nuclear power plant in Sweden placed across the sound from Copenhagen that was closed down in 2005 after years of Danish political pressure -tg] has been a bogey man because of its closeness to Copenhagen ; but the power plant has in the same period supplied cheap and clean energy to the Danes.

There are a lot of emotions connected to nuclear power and they should not be underestimated. The China syndrome and worst possibly scenarios is being presented. But Chernobyl is already twenty years back. The accident happened because of a series of inexcusable mistakes – which the World has learned from. The plants that are being planned and built today represent a totally different level of security.

Nuclear power in Denmark is not on the agenda right away. But the debate should be. At least we have a scientific interest in being part of it; and we have an obligation to be open-minded towards neighboring countries that want to secure their energy supply.


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