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  1. I agree that the dropping of the atomic bomb was justifiable. I must admit that, like you Rod, my father was engaged in the war. He was an infantryman in Borneo when the war ended. Perhaps he would have survived. It seems probable. My uncle at the time was a prisoner, enslaved to work on the Burma railway. The casualty rates there were so high that perhaps he mightn’t have survived. I’m afraid I favour my families’ welfare above that of their enemies. As the above very unsurprisingly shows, self interest trumps all else. This, needless to say, is the reason I favour nuclear power. As someone who makes a hobby of history, I’d argue that living standards in the good old days were very poor indeed. In fact I’ve just finished glancing through ‘A Farewell to Alms’ by Gregory Clark, in which he argues that the living standards of the bulk of humanity were no better than those of the stone age up until the industrial revolution. (Agriculture etc did produce considerably more material wealth, but this was all seized by the elite.) However nukes have been proven to work for about half a century, and there seems no reason to doubt that with minimal further development, they can provide all the energy we need for millions of years. Thus there is no reason to go back to the good old days. That you are always making this argument is of course why I’m attracted to your blog.

    1. 1. They were warned – http://www.damninteresting.com/ww2-america-warned-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-citizens/

      2. The deaths and burns caused by the dropping of the bombs was less than the firebombing of the 67 cities prior to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. – http://www.ditext.com/japan/napalm.html Would those opposing the dropping of the A-bombs have desired that the US firebombed 100 more cities? I have been told that the death in Tokyo alone exceeded the deaths from the bombs.

      3. American troop deaths alone for an invasion were estimated to have exceeded the deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And, similar numbers for both Japanese troops and civilians.

      1. I am in agreement with you gentlemen. I constantly hear the “It would have only been (insert number of deaths which seems to be revised downward with each passing year) deaths in the invasion” justification. Ignoring that this number of deaths is almost always higher than those killed by the bombs themselves…What president in their right mind would say, “Rather than kill a bunch of the enemy who drug me into this war, I’ll just sacrifice a few hundred thousand of my own countrymen to avoid their suffering?” It’s positively asinine. Any president is always going to use the big weapon (which he spent a lot of tax dollars developing) to save his own guys.

        1. “Any president is always going to use the big weapon… to save his own guys.”

          The Korean and Vietnam wars prove that this is not true.

          The public and politicians tolerated more deaths in those wars even though tactical nuclear weapons were blatantly available. The reasons for this are numerous (radiophobia, fear mongering of the bomb, guilt from the academic community for building it, Japan making themselves out as the real victims to lessen their culpability for the war, strategic air command wanting all nuclear weapons to be giant instead of small, etc.), but the evidence shows that people will accept higher deaths and more destruction if it suits political or ideological needs.

          1. I think the main reason nuclear weapons weren’t used in Korea of Vietnam was because by then the other side had nukes too…

          2. “I think the main reason nuclear weapons weren’t used in Korea of Vietnam was because by then the other side had nukes too…”

            The lack of such a constraint in the middle east is precisely why we may see, in the near future, the use of a nuclear device against a nation that does not possess deterrence capabilities.

  2. I’d happily use your bumper sticker except for one thing – I’ve parked up my van and only use my bike ( plus I think most New Zealanders wouldn’t have the faintest idea about the concept.)

    1. @John ONeill

      I’ve been driving a van again for the past week. It’s amusing to imagine what I would look like trying to ride a bike with two grown women and three children in car seats as passengers.

      During this summer, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in cars. I think the mileage total is close to 10,000 in the past 3 months. I’d still have months left of riding to do if I’d attempted to cover the same number of miles on a bike.

      1. Wow!  That’s an average of around 110 miles per day, implying a much greater peak.  It would be hard to do that in a current-generation PHEV without burning considerable fuel, given the time required to recharge.  OTOH, a Tesla Model S wouldn’t have great difficulty doing that, even 3-400 miles per day.

        FYI, I spotted my third Model S in northwestern Michigan (lower peninsula) Sunday night.  It was not the local plate, nor the Illinois plate I’d seen before; it was from Massachusetts!  To state it plainly, electric vehicles are already able to make it from the east coast to the northern reaches of Michigan (aside from the UP) with just the infrastructure in place.  The so-called “need” for hydrogen cars is a lie.  The “hydrogen highway” is a creation of Exxon-Mobil; we can forget it.

        1. Early last year when I worked a remodel in Beverly Hills I was amazed at the amount of Model S owners. A very popular car there.

          1. @poa

            Early last year when I worked a remodel in Beverly Hills I was amazed at the amount of Model S owners. A very popular car there.

            Hence the reason that the Tesla is not going to make much of an impact on US CO2 emissions. Few of us can afford to live in Beverly Hills or afford to drive a $100,000 car.

            I recently saw my first Tesla in person while at Georgia Tech and walking several times daily past the engineering buildings. There were two or three in the parking lots, but at least a dozen Nissan Leaf’s.

          2. “Hence the reason that the Tesla is not going to make much of an impact on US CO2 emissions. Few of us can afford to live in Beverly Hills or afford to drive a $100,000 car.”

            True. If you are only considering market.

            High end innovation tends to trickle down to the mainstream. The wealthier the company, the wealthier their R & D departments. The resultant technology tends to escape.

          3. Hence the reason that the Tesla is not going to make much of an impact on US CO2 emissions. Few of us can afford to live in Beverly Hills or afford to drive a $100,000 car.

            Tesla is starting as a niche manufacturer, but the Model 3 is much more of a mass-market vehicle than the Roadster, Model S or Model X.  Apparently, recent advances in Li-ion manufacturing are due to cut the cost to $100/kWh fairly soon.  When a Model S-class battery costs less than $10,000, a car with equivalent performance will be able to sell for the average new-vehicle price or less.

        2. @E-P

          My peak days this summer have been 800-900 miles. I’ve been to San Antonio, TX; Portsmouth, ME; Tampa, Pensacola, Ft. Walton Beach FL; Atlanta, GA and numerous places in between. I’ve been doing my share to eliminate the current “oversupplied” oil market, though all of the vehicle used get good mileage – nearly 50 mpg in my primary road car, but less n my loaded family vehicles.

          1. My work truck now has 367,000 miles on it. An amazing truck. I didn’t nèed to replace the clutch until 340,000 miles. What clutch lasts 340,000 miles?

            Frankly, I think the truck is possessed. It is holding me hostage.

          2. I’ve done 1000 mile days before, but that was when I was driving the TDI.

            It would probably be difficult to do 800 miles in a day in a Model S.  You would need to recharge for 30-45 minutes every 120-200 miles.  Achieving equivalent long-distance performance requires either power-through-the-road or battery swaps (which Tesla is also doing).

        3. It’s a leap of faith to assume it “drove” from Massachusetts. In My minds eye, I see it towed behind a very large and even more expensive RV. That’s much more likely.

          1. “It’s a leap of faith to assume it “drove” from Massachusetts”

            Wrong. Tesla’s recharging stations make such a trip possible for the Model S. If you don’t believe it, check out the Tesla website, and go to their mapping feature.

          2. The leap of faith is yours.  I have checked Tesla’s specs for this specific issue, and Tesla does NOT allow “flat towing” of the Model S.  It would have to be carried on a full trailer because the rear wheels are the driven wheels.

  3. There have been several articles both pro and con over the fact that UK has spent 1.5 Trillion on “Unreliables.” How much has that 1.5 Trillion done in reducing CO2 (don’t forget to factor in the Global Recession, that we are still in)? Now calculate how many Nuclear Power Plants that would build. How much would those NPPs reduce CO2? Do the same for the amount that USA, Australia, and the other countries wasting money on the Green Plague? If that does not convince you of the true motives of the Green Plague that Al Gore et al have foisted upon us. who’s only true benefit to mankind is to make the rich filthy rich, then nothing will..

  4. For me the biggest issue regarding the nuclear bombing of Japan isn’t whether it was justifiable, but the disastrous political repercussions for nuclear power we face to this day. Talk about nuclear fallout…

    1. I hate to think how much worse the anti-nuclear climate would have been if more nuclear weapons had been needed to end World War II.

      Imagine if the Nazis had actually managed to defeat the USSR (perhaps due to worse purges by Stalin) – come 1948, the Americans and British have defeated Japan (by conventional means, so as not to provide the Nazis with confirmation that nuclear weapons are indeed possible) but are shuddering at how many troops they’d need to sacrifice to defeat a Third Reich stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals. So as an alternative, they decide to destroy Germany in one day with a 200-weapon nuclear strike (much as depicted in Stuart Slade’s The Big One).

      There’d probably be little sympathy for the Germans afterwards (especially when the Western Allies uncover the full horror of Generalplan Ost), but there’d probably still be an anti-nuclear movement dwarfing that of our own history…

  5. @Rod, You claim you like to “follow the money.” Have you followed where the US government is spending the money? Have you found how they hide the expenditures on “Green Energy” by forcing the Army, Navy, Air Force to use 20% renewables and the $ Billions coming out of their defense budget that is spent on Green Energy? Have you followed how ALL of the US Government departments, agencies, commissions, etc, are spending a healthy portion of their annual budget on “Greening” their facilities? Again, why is 95% (my guess) spent on unreliables? Look at the annual global expenditure on Green Energy. This site gives a start http://climatepolicyinitiative.org/energy-finance/ $300 Billion a year! How much would just $100 Billion a year used for NPP do to reduce CO2?

    1. @Rich

      One of the reasons I decided it was time to retire from the Navy was that I was working in the OPNAV office that had been directed to fund the Green Fleet out of money appropriated for O & M and training.

      In other words – yes, I’m aware of the trend you describe.

      1. I know you do not frequent WUWT but this is a must read. This is what Obama wants.
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/08/03/obama-may-finally-succeed/
        28% renewables in the US with NO NUKES is going to translate to $0.30 kWh plus in electricity, for FREE energy? You were a manager at a manufacturing facility so I am sure you are aware of the impact of cost of electricity on production costs. A few years ago I helped, par time, at a facility with 20 employees implementing a new computer system. The second largest cost was electricity, it exceeded the cost of the material, transportation, and water/sewer. They will go out of business when they get just $0,02 Kwh. How many more. And the NPP I retired from is still selling electricity to the ethanol manufacturing plants and the USAF for under $0.05 – for now. They will not be able to keep that rate as they continue to increase the residential rate about 10% every year like they have for the last five years.

        1. @Rich

          I know that many of the writers at WUWT have an a priori dislike of anything that the president proposes, but the press release that the White House issued earlier today includes the following quote – “All low-carbon electricity generation technologies, including renewables, energy efficiency, natural gas, nuclear and carbon capture and storage, can play a role in state plans.”

          Admittedly, that is the only place in the release that mentions nuclear energy, but it is enough to show that he has not said “28% renewables in the US with NO NUKES.”

          1. It is the rare thread indeed that a political discussion isn’t apropos to the topic. As demonstrated in this exchange between Rod and Rich. In fact, this blogsite is rife with political discussions. So, one must assume that the few voicing objection do not actually object to political discussions. What they actually object to is political discussions that strongly place their own political leanings in jeopardy of being exposed as ill-informed or absurdly untenable.

            Its laughable seeing the argument offered, (correctly), that the Japan bombings have shaped public opinion into finding disfavor with NE, yet on another thread they are offended by a discussion about whether or not the demonization of Iran’s nuclear program is also damaging to the public’s perception of NE. The attempt to directly mate Iran’s NE pursuits with the bomb is a message it would seem you would oppose. So what, really, fuels your objection to such a discussion? What are you afraid of?

          2. @Rod, well if it included NUKES, we presently have (end of 2014 numbers) ~20% Nuclear, 4% wind, >1% solar, and 6% other (non hydro), and 13% hydro thus, we have exceed his 28% ??? Without Hydro it is above 28% also. So what is the true goal? 28% NON CO2 producing energy? Or 28% ignoring the present contribution from Hydro and Nuclear thus propagating the Green Plague that is going to kill the USA (and make the filthy rich 1%ers even richer)? Again this is what feeds my skepticism. Is Obama, the next president going to significantly help the SMR effort. Do the math, to get 28% of our power from Obamas designated “Renewables” means construction of the equivalent of name plate capacity equal to 100% of the present electrical generating load. The cost of that endeavor, plus subsidies and tax breaks is going to bankrupt us ignoring the fact that the cost of electricity will double TWICE.

            1. @Rich

              The true goal should be stated as a rate of CO2 production, not as a portion of any particular technology.

              The accounting should be as honest as possible, which would tend to eliminate bogus “biomass” credits since burning carbohydrates obviously releases vast quantities of CO2 per unit of power produced. The process of absorbing that CO2 by growing new fuel takes far longer than the act of burning.

              Subsidies should also be minimized and focus on limiting actual cash payments from taxpayers to promoters. We need to avoid labeling government action designed to enable or streamline development of useful technologies as a “subsidy” of any kind. Loan guarantees, for example, should be available on reasonably similar terms to all technologies, not the way that the Energy Policy Act of 2005 program ended up with some potential borrowers having all of the fees paid by appropriated funds while assessing huge “credit subsidy costs” to other potential borrowers.

  6. Rod, I would love to put a “NUKE Climate Change” sticker on my car! Just let me know where and how I can get one or a dozen. 😉

  7. I had a conversation with a Vietnam-vet a couple years ago. He related how his father, as a WWII SeaBee, became privy to the invasion plans against Japan. On Aug 7 – the day after Little Boy was dropped – the company CO called his men to a meeting. This CO believed that Japan would surrender after the nuclear bomb, and so shared the invasion plans which likely were no longer needed. Anticipated allied deaths for the first J-day invasion were 300,000. Anticipated Japanese deaths would have been higher – in the first 24 hours!

    On the flip side, the Allies have had a bit of revisionist history taught for a couple generations now. The Japanese were willing to surrender months earlier but US leaders would only accept surrender on very specific terms. Over a million died because of diplomatic posturing that went on for weeks….

    “President Harry S. Truman and those around him knew this through intercepted Japanese diplomatic messages, the story goes, but refused to extend such an assurance because they wanted the war to continue until atomic bombs became available. The real purpose of using the bombs was not to defeat an already-defeated Japan, but to give the United States a club to use against the Soviet Union.” http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/52502#sthash.1mqq39E3.dpuf

    “The war might have ended weeks earlier, he [Gen. MacArthur] said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.” http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/10/the-real-reason-america-used-nuclear-weapons-against-japan-to-contain-russian-ambitions.html

    “For many years, much of the information that suggested the atomic bombings were not necessary was not available to the public. It was either classified as secret by the U.S. government or withheld in the decision-makers’ private papers and diaries. For example, key portions of President Truman’s diary from July 1945 were not made available until 1979.” http://www.doug-long.com/rambling.htm

    ===========================

    On the bumper stickers, IMO we should stop thinking within such small timescales. Renewable within months or decades is too short a period. We have enough Uranium, Plutonium, & Thorium to last millions of years. Should the human race develop technology (in that time) to allow us to trek among the stars, there will be more renewable fuel waiting for us. Astronomers detect additional nova explosions nearly every day – fresh fission fuel among the stars! My bumper sticker (or Tshirt) would read:

    ⚛ RENEWABLE NUCLEAR ⚛
    Because supernova forge new atoms daily!

    1. I have been and continue to be history buff. I enjoy it more than fiction. I have spent many hours reading US History. There are many missing/forgotten facts from the reasons supporting not dropping the bombs. Among the ones that come to mind is the history of how long peace negotiations take. Korea, and Vietnam come to mind immediately. Thus terms like “weeks away” are BS. They fail to mention that Russia was making preparations to expand their territory eastward and what China, Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia would look like if Russia had taken part in taking down Japan. What would the world be like if Japan had been split up like Germany? And as far as “Japanese Diplomats” were discussing peace, the history I read and was taught was that “Japanese Diplomats” were considered to be in negotiations with us as the planes were on the way to attack Pearl Harbor. They were to have delivered their breakoff of negotiations (declaration of war) at the exact time that the attack was to start. And liberal historians trust these “messages” of desire for peace [which I would call propaganda] and claim they were honestly seeking peace? I wouldn’t! Think about all of the false messages that the US was transmitting, Germany was doing it, Russ was doing it and of course Japan was doing it. It is called a tactic. Which is true and which is BS?

  8. Was dropping the atomic bombs on Japan justifiable?

    Who bombed Pearl Harbor? Who started the war?

    Yes, dropping those bombs was justifiable.

    For those who think the atomic bomb has held back the development of nuclear energy, it must be considered that this was the impetus to the governments of the world spending the money to develop the technology. I believe that it would have been many more years for private enterprise to develop nuclear energy without the assistance of the US government. Further advances in the technology may need similar assistance.

    Those are good bumper stickers. Good bumper stickers are like sound bites.

  9. Rod – I would prefer the NUKE Climate Change slogan and bumper sticker. The anti-nuclears might just have prepared the way with their Don’t Nuke The Climate campaign. That slogan acknowledges that nuclear fission is powerful enough to actually affect the climate. I think that could be a starter for good conversations.

    I don’t think NUKE Oil Dependence is the right way to go. I think that everybody in the business of providing power (which is ultimately the product that the fuels businesses, energy businesses, powered equipment manufacturers including autos, appliances, aircraft, manufacturing equipment, motors, the list goes on) to our world, should be on the same side. For me, that side is abundance for all the world. Alex Epstein’s book The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels is myopic, as you noted in your podcast interview with him; it’s actually The Moral Case for Fuels (and the Engines That They Power). I read the book, and IMO he doesn’t take a broad enough view.

    I think that NUKE Oil Dependence would be seen by fossil fuel businesses as a threat. What I want them to see is that nuclear reactors should be viewed as ‘nuclear heat batteries’ that can start powering their fuel factories (aka refineries) so they don’t have to burn their products to manufacture their products. IMO we need a path to preserve as much as possible of the capital investment that’s already been made and the infrastructure that exists. The power/fuels businesses need to grow; at least tenfold.

    The song The Farmer and the Cowman (Territory
    Folk)
    from the musical
    Oklahoma! has been going through my head. The refrain ‘Territory folk should stick together, territory folk should all be pals’ need to be ‘Power business folk should stick together, power business folk should all be pals’. There might be room for a complete parody version…

    (And FYI – if you’re wondering who grabbed the nukeclimatechange.com/net/org domain names, it’s me. I checked; they were available; they are now in friendly hands.)

    1. @Andrew Jaremko

      It may be too subtle a point, but each word of “Nuke Oil Dependence” was carefully chosen. I LIKE oil and the power and freedom it provides. I am just tired of people believing that being dependent on it is both inevitable and good.

      Some oil and gas guys are fuel people who truly believe their job is supplying power to people. Others are domineering oligarchs who act more like drug pushers than servants of their customers.

      1. Rod – I could see just how carefully you had chosen the phrase, and I completely agree with it. What it called to my mind, though, was all the calls from American commentators to end the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels and oil imports, especially from the Mideast. That’s a different call to action. Other commenters in other nations (I’m in Canada) – what images and associations did the phrase conjure up?

        It’s also a call to just one action out of many that will contribute to getting us to a future we’ve created. I think ‘NUKE Climate Change’ opens up ideas beyond transportation fuel. I think the slogan was a genuine inspiration.

    2. I’m not so keen on “nuke oil dependence either” because the connection isn’t as obvious – currently nuclear is used only for electricity and oil is used overwhelmingly for transportation.

      1. That’s because (except for some niche markets) nuclear already pushed oil out of the electricity generation business.

      2. I’ve already electrocuted the bulk of my oil dependence; my car has (by its own trip computer figures) averaged 123.6 MPG over the past 25,000-odd miles.  If all the electricity was nuclear, I would have nuked it.

  10. When I was in high school I read much history of the Second World War. The atomic bombings that ended it were wrong.

    Then I read an un-expurgated recounting of the battles for Iwo Jima and Okinawa. And I wondered.

    Many years later I attended a Salt Lake concert by a young Wyoming songwriter, Beth McIntosh. In an introspective interlude she told of a sailor aboard USS Missouri, preparing for shore bombardment prior to the final invasion. The Missouri was not expected to survive. Instead, the young sailor who would become her father watched the surrender ceremony on its deck. “Truman’s Choice.”

  11. I like your ideas Rod. I also like a straight forward.
    Keep in mind that a bumper sticker is not a campaign. It’s just a way to send a message. Several messages can be effective. It depends who reads them and what the readers experiences have been.
    “SUPPORT NUCLEAR ENERGY”, “SAVE THE PTEROPODS”, “NUKE NIMBYS”, “MA NATURE NEEDS NUKES”,”NUKE CLEAN ENERGY PLAN”,”DEREGULATE THE ATOM”,”FISSION GETS NO RESPECT”,”NUCLEAR WASTE IS TOMORROWS FUEL”, “WE HAVE NOTHING TO NUKE BUT FEAR ITSELF”

  12. Here’s another one:

    “NUKE THE TWIN TRAGEDIES OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND OCEAN ACIDIFICATION”

      1. Since it’s a couple of days early for the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, I can only conclude that it was timed to coincide with the announcement of Obama’s “clean energy” plan.

        The news outlets (on both the left and the right) are reporting that El Presidente wants the rest of the US to adopt energy policies in line with that of California … you know … the state that just shut down two perfectly good nuclear reactors over a stupid mistake made by Mitsubishi.

        Am I missing something?

        1. Ahhhh ha! So thats it! The release date was a sinister plot by the left wing. They felt that releasing the report a coupla days before the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing would cause the public to think badly about nuclear energy. I mean its just so logical that the public would do this…umm hmmm….

          “Golly, Ethyl, did you notice that they released this report two days before the Hiroshima anniversary?” asked Harry as he finished knotting his tie.

          “Why no, dear, I hadn’t noticed that,” replied Ethyl, “but gosh, now that you mention it, it reminds me just how evil and dangerous our nuclear power plants are!”

          “Yes, honey, gotta run, late for work. Any idea where I put the keys to the Prius?”

        2. @Brian Mays

          The only part you’re missing is recognizing the potential effects of a revolutionary meme that contradicts the narrative the establishment parties are promoting.

          The mostly Republican “right” thinks climate change is either unimportant or an evil plot by the left. The mostly Democratic “left” apparently thinks we can power modern societies to improving living standards without fossil fuels AND without nuclear energy.

          “Nuke Climate Change” should cause people in the middle to get excited and MIGHT even result in those on the ends of the spectrum thinking a little more critically.

    1. Its not like the right was going out of its way with general arguments to keep them open either Brian. Lets face it, common sense is probably never going to really win the way the game is rigged now. BTW I think your comment a bit ago about trump being the Sanders of the right is spot on. Hoping that the reasonable and moderates somehow come though, but it isnt looking good.

    2. While you all are idly chatting about bumper stickers, here’s your “Hope and Change” …

      @Brian Mays

      Yes … “Hope and Change” includes some very good provisions for nukes, including adding construction of existing plants to carbon abatement targets and uprates. EPA listened to industry lobbyists and stakeholders, and responded to their concerns. What it did not do is agree to a credit scheme proposed by the industry (looking to minimize rising costs) that would contribute nothing to carbon abatement targets below current levels. Anticipated nuclear plant retirements have no effect on State carbon abatement targets (States would likely find it harder to meet pre-determined emissions targets with new coal or fossil fuel capacity, and not easier).

      If your claim is that the EPA should give nuclear everything that the industry wanted, you are correct, it didn’t do that. But neither did it give a cold shoulder to nuclear: “New Nuclear Power Seen as Winner in Obama’s Clean Power Plan” (here).

      1. El……

        There can’t possibly be any positive ramifications for the nuclear industry in this bill.

        This is a bill advanced by the Obama Administration, therefore rendering any specifics or actual details irrelevent to the debate.

        This guy ain’t even a citizen, much less a Christian. And a terrist as well, ready to march the jews back into the ovens. Ain’t you payin’ attention? Gads, ya got a whole army of right wing patriots elbowing each other out of the way to give ya the truth in their quest for the privilege of using the Oval Office rest room. Pay attention, will ya?

  13. Drudge has a “Obama loves nukes” headline that is in response to new climate initiatives. It makes me feel that the ignorance and politicization of the far right would be just as bad or worse than that of the far left if given the opportunity.

  14. The atomic bombs ended the war earlier than otherwise, saved not only American lives, but Japanese lives as well.

    Yes, Diplomatic codes had been broken and there were diplomates discussing an end to hostilities, but the number of communiques of this nature were dwarfed by those indicating the Japanese would fight on to the very end. In addition, diplomates weren’t in charge, the military was and they unequivocally advocated a fight to the bitter end. Indeed, even AFTER the atomic bombs were dropped, there was a coup attempt to prevent Hirohito’s surrender (essentially) message from going out. For any to suggest that Japan was ready and willing to surrender in the absence of anything remotely resembling “compelling evidence”, tells more about the suggesters than it does about historical reality.

    The atomic bombs saved Japanese lives not just because they would have lost them in an invasion, but because of starvation as well. Japan suffered a terrible famine at the end of the war, a famine ameliorated by the US shipping them 800K tons of food. Had the war drug on, this 800K tons of food would obviously have not been sent. Furthermore, the next set of targets were the transportation circuit, the railways, bridges, etc. The vast majority of the people did not live in the areas where the food was grown, elimination of the transportation network would have seriously impeded Japanese ability to transport the food they did have, to where the people lived.

    Dropping the atomic bombs was the right thing to do and in the absence of further documentation to the contrary, Truman’s decision should be vigorously defended.

    1. @david davison:
      I don’t think the bombings are so clear cut. It may be, but ChrisB left a comment above linking Douglas Long’s Hiroshima: Was It Necessary?, a brief, readable, well documented essay making the argument that if the bombings were necessary, its only because we passed on some pretty inviting peace opportunities before hand.

      Its generally a whole lot easier to start a war than it is to stop one, and as I said, I’ve read the WWII battle histories as well. The atomic bombings did end the war. Whether the war could have been ended a month earlier without them is still an open question, as that’s not what happened and there are no do-overs. But please give Long’s piece a glance. Thanks!

      1. I find Doug Long’s essay wholly unconvincing, indeed, almost bereft of any evidence to support his claim. The piece was an exercise in moralizing over the events. In addition, he gets several things wrong. At Potsdam, Truman told Stalin about “a new weapon of unusual destructive force”, contrary to what Long suggests. His reliance on Bernstein for possible casualty figures on the proposed invasion is problematic. America suffered some 14,000 dead and 72,000 casualties at Okinawa and these forces faced a fraction of the enemy they would face on mainland Japan. Japan had also announced that at the first site of the American invasion fleet, they would execute ALL prisoners of war.

        Regarding the Russians, they were a day away from invading Hokkaido and it took some stern talk from the Americans to prevent this. Had the war gone on, they would have invaded and might still be there today. Yes, they withdrew from the carefully drawn and agreed upon areas in Europe, but as events unfolded, they demonstrated that they would take advantage of any situation they felt their army could get away with. Long doesn’t even address this potential reality in his scenario.

        I find his assertion that the bombs may have been dropped to scare the Soviets, repugnant. To suggest that a test of the atomic bomb might induce the Japanese to surrender but that this same test couldn’t demonstrate to the Soviets the awesome power of the bomb, empty.

        It is fun and interesting to speculate about the great “what ifs” of history, but people shouldn’t substitute or confuse this speculation for reality.

        This all reminds me of a similar bogus claim, that FDR knew about and indeed tricked the Japanese into attacking us at Pearl Harbor. The last serious attempt at this was Robert Stinnett’s Day of Deceit, a masterful attempt to prove what didn’t in fact happen, had actually occurred.
        My strong opinion on the issue is not meant to be offensive.

        1. David:
          Your statements agree with what I have read and the conclusions I have come to based upon over 50years of reading US History. I have found that my best source are the library sales of donated books and estate auctions/tag-sales.

          1. Ditto Rich, I must have 200 books I bought at the library for a fraction of the cost of a new one.

            @ Ed and Rich

            Richard B Frank’s book “DownFall” is an excellent source on the topic of the demise of the Japanese empire. I’ve also seen interviews with him on the subject which can probably be found on Youtube.

            BTW, in a biography of Mitsuo Fuchida (God’s Samurai), senior ranking officer in the air over Pearl Harbor, begun by Gordon Prange and finished by his students upon his death, Fuchida stated that had Japan had the atomic bomb, they would have used it.

          2. @David
            As would have Germany. Fear of such possibility, even if remote in the case of Japan, was a significant driver of Manhattan Project and relentless pursuit of the earliest end possible. Because years of horrific sacrifice would have been brought to naught had either unleashed such weapons even within a few weeks of their ultimate surrender.

    1. poa – thanks for the link. Reading the story, something jumped out at me:

      Through generating solar and fuel cell energy on-site, selling it to Duke and by purchasing renewable energy certificates, what Apple is actually doing is offsetting the carbon footprint of this center.

      This statement – that the local generation is sold into the grid instead of being used locally – made me wonder why? I can see two possibilities, and I haven’t researched either of them, so I welcome corrections.

      The first is that the solar and fuel cell combination isn’t reliable enough to contribute to running the data center, let alone be its sole source of power. Rod has written a lot about the unreliables.

      The second is that it’s a strictly business decision – to collect any feed-in tariffs available and let Duke Energy Carolinas shoulder the task of keeping the electricity flowing. A ‘sound business decision’ that also greenwashes – two birds with one stone!

      The link answered my third question. Apparently solar panels and fuel cells aren’t good enough to use if Duke has an outage:

      And when Duke’s grid fails, Apple will rely on backup diesel-powered generators to run the facility, which can burn as much as 429,600 gallons of diesel fuel stored in on-site tanks, according to a March 2015 permit filed with the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission.

    2. You might as well ask why Apple allows its suppliers to install “suicide nets” around their sweat shops … er … factories in China.

      It’s because Apple is evil and arrogant. The arrogance comes from decades of pandering to customers who not only admit to but also take a certain amount of pride in being too stupid to own one of those “hard-to-use” PC’s. This is a company that believed that putting more than one button on a mouse would cause its customers’ heads to explode.

      Does Apple really think that its customers are going to examine very closely its dubious claims of powering their data centers with only “renewable” energy? Heck no! They know that their customers are just sitting around waiting for the release of the next iPhone/iPod/iPad gadget and patting themselves on the back for choosing such a hip, “environmentally friendly,” “worker-friendly” company as Apple.

        1. I see Brian is waxing up his shoe horn again.

          Apple users are stupid.

          Thanks for that info, Brian. I was wondering why Rod tolerates your……..oh, never mind.

        2. How long did it take Apple to concede that user-friendliness implied giving users more than a one-button mouse?

          I haven’t been able to stand to use any Apple device later than the Lisa.

          1. More to the point – how long has it been since Apple tried to sell one button mice?

            Do you have any experience with a programmable Apple trackpad compared to any other pointing device?

      1. Apple users are stupid.

        That’s Apple’s opinion, not mine. I was not stating my personal opinion about Apple’s customers, but merely my impression of Apple’s take on its customers.

        I like easy to use devices.

        “Easy-to-use” is a term that is almost completely meaningless, because it is entirely relative. It means completely different things to users with low expectations than it does to users with high expectations.

        For example, personally, I find Apple products to be the most difficult-to-use devices on the planet, because they never do anything that I need or interact with anything that I use on a daily basis to get my work done or even to live my life.

        The latter problem is built in by design, of course. Apple wants it this way so that their suckers … er … customers keep buying Apple products. They’ve had the same business plan since the mid-1980’s.

        More to the point – how long has it been since Apple tried to sell one button mice?

        Exactly. Now they’ve concluded that even one button is too confusing for their customers. Plus, the “secret handshake” mode of operation that has replaced the button conveniently reinforces that sense of smugness that most dedicated Apple customers share. They have long enjoyed being an “elite” group of low-expectation customers who have believed that using technology is more about style than about substance.

        1. @Brian Mays

          I cannot help if if you work for a large company that forces its employees to use Windows (or DOS) based software tools. It’s possible that your IT and network support people have created interfaces that depend on proprietary MS alterations of standard network and web protocols like HTML-5 or even less secure implementations that depend on Adobe Flash.

          Since Apple moved to the Unix-based OS more than a dozen years ago, its computers have been enormously useful to power users. During my three week stay at GA Tech this summer, I did an informal survey of the computers I saw being used by the students – approximately 50% were Apple products. So was the entire lab in the library. I guess that university has a bunch of “stupid” students. End Ironic Comment

          1. I cannot help if if you work for a large company that forces its employees to use Windows (or DOS) based software tools.

            Rod – You know where I work. I do work there, and I despise the IT department even more than Apple. Next time we sit down to have a beer together, I’ll be more than happy to rant about it. I’ve got plenty of stories. 😉

            Since Apple moved to the Unix-based OS more than a dozen years ago, its computers have been enormously useful to power users. During my three week stay at GA Tech this summer, I did an informal survey of the computers I saw being used by the students — approximately 50% were Apple products.

            Hmm … I wonder. How many of these students were forced, or at least, encouraged (through generous discounts) to purchase this equipment by the school? The trend of requiring students to purchase computers that the school supports has been going on for at least 25 years now. Apple and Steve Jobs have always had a strong presence in educational environments (hence the logo and the name).

            Did you do an informal survey of what they use their computers or devices for? Email, Facebook, Twitter, reports for class assignments, and an occasional calculation that can be done in a spreadsheet are not what I would consider to be the needs of a “power user.”

            I guess that university has a bunch of “stupid” students.

            Low-expectation is not the same as “stupid.” A computer is a tool, nothing more. My problem is that Apple’s tools tend to play poorly with others (Unix-based or not). I have very little need for anything that Apple sells, but why do they insist on making things so difficult for everyone else? (Other than profit, of course.) Microsoft is the same way, which is why I avoid using the junk that they sell as much as possible too.

            But at least, Microsoft doesn’t (yet) pretend that they’re trying to “save the planet” — which is the nonsense that Apple is trying to feed you and that Apple assumes that you are stupid enough to buy, which was the point of my original comment.

          2. I cannot help if if you work for a large company that forces its employees to use Windows (or DOS) based software tools.

            I find it almost seamless to switch between Windows and Linux.  Apple devices appear to be perversely different for the sake of difference.

        2. “Apple users are stupid.”

          “That’s Apple’s opinion, not mine”

          Well Brian, unfortunately for you, the participants here are able to read. So they can simply scroll back up and read what you actually said. I doubt many here are “stupid” enough to buy into your equivicating.

  15. Many times here I have advanced the premise that through use solar and wind energy technology will evolve, as will nuclear energy technology. It is inevitable as we learn the lessens that that use teaches.

    Check this out….did you think you’d ever see this, in reality, as you watched the Back to the Future movies…..

    https://youtu.be/ZwSwZ2Y0Ops