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Green vs. Greener in East Tyrol

Green vs. Greener in East Tyrol

Conservationist Wolfgang Retter walks on the shaded root-strewn path besides the upper Isel River. It’s a well-trodden route for the passionate Tyrolean ecologist. Not far from its glacial source, the river is shallow here. The water is milky with sediment, and it roars over the rocks that protrude from the gravel riverbed. But a metallic […]

What the Scientists Know

“Nuclear power? No thanks!” has been the slogan for German anti-nuclear movement since the ‘70s. With the recent tsunami, earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan, anti-nuclear protestors, picket signs and loudspeakers in hand – prepare for battle. Tightly gripping the misunderstood giant’s neck, anti-nuclear protesters aren’t planning to let go easily. As difficult as it […]

In the Shadow of the Reactors

It is 6 p.m. on a mild Easter Monday in downtown Vienna. I slowly but steadily stroll up to Stephansplatz from Rotenturmstraße, watching children with their grandparents slurping some ice cream. I take a spoonful of the frozen treat while the sun warms my skin, and I decide that spring has finally come. All of […]

Vienna and Chernobyl

This account of the repercussions of Chernobyl  in Vienna was originally published in The Advertiser in Australia, in 1986 and is re-printed here by permission of the author. “What is this radiation stuff all about?” my eight-year-old son asked as he dashed through the door after school. He was annoyed, and implied that Mum and […]

Gambling With (Our Only) Planet

The consequences of the Japanese earthquake – especially the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant – resonate grimly for observers of the American financial crash that precipitated the Great Recession. Both events provide stark lessons about risks, and about how badly markets and societies can manage them. Of course, in one sense, there […]

Nuclear Power: Safe No More

The huge scale of the disaster that has struck in Japan since the earthquake on Mar. 11 almost defies comprehension. The numbers are constantly being nudged upwards but at the time of writing, the latest count of the dead and missing has reached 25,000 and ten times that number have been left without shelter in […]

Debunking the Nuclear Advantage

The horrific events unfolding in Japan – revealed by footage of smoke-emitting reactors and abandoned towns in the contamination zone – are confirming suspicions that nuclear energy is neither clean nor safe. Tokyo’s drinking water has been declared hazardous to infants and consumers have been advised against eating vegetables grown in the prefecture that is […]

Can ‘Nuclear Freedom’ Work?

In a time of no uniform European policy on the use of atomic energy, Bulgaria needs to choose between the Russian-encouraged construction of a new nuclear power plant, and the withdrawal from the project that many claim slows down the country’s economic progress. In its inability to reach a decision on its own, the country […]

The Security Council and Iran

At the International Atomic Energy Agency’s final regular meeting of 2009, Iran was punished with yet another resolution from the United Nations Security Council. A new document urges Iran to comply fully with the demands of the UNSC and suspend uranium enrichment, as well as immediately halt construction at the new enrichment facility in Fordo, […]

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