German Schiller Institute Conference Report
Full Steam Ahead To Rebuild a Shattered World
by Stephan Ossenkopp
[A PDF version of this article is available at this link]
At the conference of the international Schiller Institute on "Rebuilding the World Economy—NAWAPA, the Bering Strait, and the Eurasian Land-Bridge," on September 25 in Berlin, the speakers underlined that, in the current dramatically aggravated crisis of the global system, we have to push through a solution: the immediate rebuilding of the world through great infrastructure projects and nuclear power. The speakers were Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Dr. Hal Cooper, Dr. Sergei Cherkasov, Portia Tarumbwa-Strid, and physicist Veit Ringel.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Dr. Hal Cooper at the Schiller Institute Landbridge Conference, September 2007
Mrs. Zepp-LaRouche, the founder of the Schiller Institute, declared at the outset, that the world today would be in quite a different situation, had all the great projects that the engineers completely worked out many years ago, such as the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA), Transaqua, and the Eurasian Land-Bridge, been implemented; and hundreds of millions of people would have been spared agonizing deaths from malnutrition, poverty, and war. She drew attention to the dramatic appeal of her husband, the American Democrat and economist Lyndon LaRouche, who only a few hours earlier had urgently called on the U.S. Congress to vote up the Glass-Steagall standard for the banks, so that such a reconstruction of the world economy could be financed. She called the situation in the United States an existential crisis for the survival of the nation. Some U.S. states now have double-digit billions worth of debt, budget cuts are being made everywhere, and mass unemployment, according to our calculations, is more like 30% than the official 10%. The financial system, she said, is so stressed, that we expect an uncontrolled disintegration of the dollar, with a global chain reaction that would first hit the Eurozone, where Italy is now being referred to as "the next Greece," and Spain's debt is actually larger than that of Greece.
If the trans-Atlantic system crashes, Zepp-LaRouche explained, sooner or later, China, Russia, Latin America, and Africa would also be dragged into the abyss. A new dark age of the entire planet would thus be inevitable. Hopes of changing U.S. policy after the November elections are based on illusion, and the recent changes in the Obama Administration, with the departure of several advisors, do not suggest any improvement in the situation, but rather a rapid disintegration of the Executive.
Back to Roosevelt
The only chance left is America's immediate return to the principles of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and an end to the bailout packages, by adoption of the Glass-Steagall Act. The EU Commission represents the policy of the British Empire, which did not disappear at all after the Second World War, but was revived as a network of international banks, independent central banks, hedge funds—in other words, the system of globalization. The typical European parliamentary system offers no way to break out of this EU straitjacket, said Zepp-LaRouche, because there is no party whose members could take the initiative required, since party discipline prevents parliamentarians and government officials from exercising their oaths of office and their freedom of conscience.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has now fully switched to the so-called Quantitative Easing II policy. Although some $23 trillion has already been committed to the bankrupt Wall Street banks, the Fed decided on a further increase of $2 trillion on its balance sheet. The Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, and the European Central Bank have done similar things. This adds up to global hyperinflation.
Therefore, Obama, who supports the bailout policy, must be chased out of office, just as President Richard Nixon was forced to resign in 1971 over the Watergate affair. Only then will it be possible to pass legislation to reintroduce the Glass-Steagall system, which was drafted by Congressmen Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.), and Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). That would quickly override Wall Street, which is so greatly hated by the American people, and then the Federal government, not the banks, could once again determine who will be saved and who will not. Huge amounts of government funds would suddenly become available for development projects such as NAWAPA, which could reemploy 3-4 million people, i.e., the army of unemployed engineers, skilled workers, youth, and those over 50 years of age.
Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche addresses the conference in Berlin on Sept. 25. She called for participants to take personal responsibility for overcoming underdevelopment and poverty worldwide.
Zepp-LaRouche then described the NAWAPA project: NAWAPA would divert and collect the unused quantities of freshwater from Alaska and Canada, to reforest the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico, and many other states, with 60-kilometer-wide bands of greenery, and to bring water to California and Mexico. The construction projects would require the construction of new railway lines, and the effect of every drop of water would be multiplied, resulting in more moisture, rain clouds, and ultimately new weather cycles, constituting a conscious development of the biosphere by mankind.
This principle applies not only to the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico, but also to Siberia, which has enormous resources beneath the permafrost whose development requires new technologies, and which are of vital importance for Russia, Japan, China, and Korea. Germany's secure access to raw materials means that we also have a fundamental interest in collaborating in this project, namely by the expansion of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, with the centers of population and industry that would result, new traffic arteries, high-speed rail, highways, new facilities for energy production and distribution, and new telecommunications systems. Infrastructure corridors about 100 km wide would create conditions for new development; and extending these projects into Africa could occur seamlessly. Zepp-LaRouche also mentioned in this context the irrigation of the Sahel Desert, through a system of canals and rivers from the Congo basin to Lake Chad; and also the replenishment of the Aral Sea in Central Asia.
With a national bank in every nation to make credit available for sections of the projects, supplemented by multilateral agreements among nations, those objectives could be achieved. This would finally bring the global economic system into accord with the order of Creation in the book of Genesis, resuming human progress from less developed to more developed stages. Because man forms hypotheses about the laws of nature, which he then has to use to apply truthful discoveries to the tasks of economic development.
The Paradigm Shift
Globalization, Zepp-LaRouche continued, is an attack on the Christian view of man, as reflected in Classical culture in both art and science. The cultural optimism which still prevailed in the John F. Kennedy period and during the Apollo project, had, as its center, man in the image of God, since man replicates God's creative capacity. It was the intervention of the financial oligarchy and its gigantic "social engineering" program—i.e., the conscious shift of axioms—that was to blame for our accepting the false assumptions of globalization. Jay Meadows and Dennis Forrester, whose study, The Limits to Growth, was supported by the Club of Rome, admitted later that they had used a computer model for the work that predetermined the result, and that the role of technology had been deliberately excluded from the scenario.
The year 1971, she said, marked the end of the Bretton Woods system, and thus the beginning of financial speculation, as well as the formation of the Inter-Alpha Group, which was originally a small group of banks, but today is a network of hedge funds and holding companies which control something like 70% of global bank trading. This was the beginning of the plan for global cartelization, the "Global Company," with which the founders of the Inter-Alpha Group, Lord Jacob Rothschild and his associate George W. Ball of Lehman Brothers (and a leading Bilderberger), wanted to replace the nation-states. The process of "European integration" and the destruction of the United States are the prerequisites for this process to succeed. Zepp-LaRouche described how the systematic process of deregulation, whereby Alan Greenspan, as a director of J.P. Morgan, attacked the Glass-Steagall Act and praised the use of "creative financial instruments." The actual repeal of Glass-Steagall, brought about by Larry Summers, was only the last link in the chain.
In 1971, Zepp-LaRouche told the audience, she became convinced, after a trip to Africa and China by freighter, that the world situation was untenable. She later joined the movement of her future husband, Lyndon LaRouche, who wanted to develop the Third World with massive development projects, including the construction of nuclear power plants and railways. At a UN population conference in Bucharest in 1974, she presented their development plan. John D. Rockefeller III spoke, at the same conference, for the first time about the population explosion and the need for population control. At that time, Zepp-LaRouche accused Rockefeller of genocide, should he push through his program. Then, almost no one believed that the Earth was overpopulated; all the NGOs and leftists called this thesis the "Rockefeller Baby." The paradigm-shift had not yet generally taken place.
This changed with Henry Kissinger's National Security Study Memorandum NSSM 200 (1974), in which he declared the raw materials of a number of nations to be subject to U.S. national security interests, and added that the U.S. government had the right to put pressure on, especially, Third World nations for population reduction, and could even use the "food weapon" against governments that did not want to cooperate. What followed was a tremendous propaganda campaign for so-called "sustainable growth" and "appropriate technology," which made "green ideas" into an ersatz religion.
Britain's Prince Charles set up a Business Leaders Forum, and organized conferences on the future of the world, which was supposed to be ruled by the so-called "smart mayors" and 400 top global managers, Zepp-LaRouche continued. In 1992, at the "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro, the fraud of anthropogenic climate change was propagandized for the first time. And at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009, many statements showed that population reduction was actually the real goal.
All of this overlaps with the policies of the banks, on the one side, and also the EU Commission. The anti-nuclear demonstrations are nothing more than "flash mobs," which are being financed by the London fondi (oligarchical family funds). Campact.de, which is the group organizing in Germany now for a "hot Autumn" against nuclear power, coal power plants, etc., is financed by the European Climate Foundation of the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, the Oak Foundation, and the Arcadia Fund, which is associated with Lord Rothschild. Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, who is the advisor on climate issues to Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU President José Manuel Barroso, also has a high post at the European Climate Foundation. Hedge funds, foundations, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) promoted funding for the hot Autumn, through the principal organizer of Campact.de, Christoph Bautz, who, in 2000, viewed Moveon.org, an organization of megaspeculator George Soros, as the role model in the U.S. for his venture.
Zepp-LaRouche described once again, in her final appeal to the conference, the world's disastrous state: On the one hand, 1.2 billion people go hungry every day; one-third of humanity lives under conditions unworthy of human beings; every day 4,000 children die from lack of water; but on the other hand, the number of billionaires and millionaires has risen sharply. She asked the guests to participate in a huge Schiller Institute mobilization, to form a strong movement of people who will take upon themselves the development of the world. In 1945, we Germans used to say, "Never again," and now it is time to finally overcome the world's underdevelopment, and for mankind to achieve adulthood, she concluded.
The route of the tunnel across the Bering Strait can be seen from space, with Big Diomede Island and Little Diomede Island visible in the middle. Source: Report presented to the Schiller Institute Landbridge Conference, "Eurasia-North America Multimodal Transport" by Dr. Victor N. Razbegin, September 2007
Engineer Dr. Hal Cooper presented plans for building a tunnel and railway across the Bering Strait.
The Bering Strait Tunnel
After Zepp-LaRouche's speech, U.S. engineer and infrastructure expert Dr. Hal Cooper laid out the project for building a tunnel across the Bering Strait, and subsequently a railway. The Bering Strait, said Cooper, is a critical pivot-point, through whose development a political and economic realignment of the world could be achieved. In 1845, Colorado Gov. William Gilpen called for building railways from the United States through Canada and Alaska; in 1906, there was even a Russian-French-American investor who mobilized $6 million for a feasibility study, and $50 million for construction of the tunnel—but the whole thing was buried when the First World War began. The First World War, Cooper said, effectively sabotaged cooperation of the Eurasian nations for major rail projects.
The tunnel under the Bering Strait would be built out of granite and sandstone, at a depth of about 60-80 meters, and construction would include a gas pipeline from Russia to Alaska, and superconducting power lines for loss-free electricity transmission. Construction of some power plants could generate the 2,000 MW of electric power needed for the railroad, as well as for the local economy. The tunnel is particularly important for freight transport, including all sorts of mining products such as gold, lead, and coal. The 100 km tunnel would cost about $25 billion, and the 1,500 km railway line between Egvekenot in Siberia and Fairbanks, Alaska, an additional $45 billion. The savings of time and money that would result from reducing transport distances would make the system much cheaper than the current use of ships for carrying cargo.
The whole venture, Cooper said, would create 700,000-1.2 million jobs, and would transform regions of Alaska and Chukotka that are still remote today, into new economic centers. China and its partners have already been building connecting lines through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Myanmar, India, and Pakistan. Just last month, the route from Istanbul to Islamabad was dedicated, which, as part of the Eurasian Land-Bridge, could be connected directly to the Bering Strait line.
Such an overland system, according to Cooper, would, for the first time, create a situation in which nations are not isolated from each other and manipulated against one another. If LaRouche's goal of a Four-Power agreement is realized, then we will have a worldwide rail system from Cape Horn to the Cape of Good Hope, which will not only foster economic well-being in all the countries concerned, but woulud also make it possible to finally end the power of the Anglo-Dutch oligarchy.
Siberia's Raw Materials
Dr. Sergei Cherkasov of Russia’s Vernadsky State Geological Museum discussed the vast, untapped potential of Siberia’s raw materials resources.
Dr. Sergei Cherkasov, from the Vernadsky State Geological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences, spoke next about infrastructure projects, raw materials, and mining along the Trans-Siberian railway, the Baikal-Amur Mainline, and the Bering Strait connection that remains to be built. The reasons that these long railway lines were begun, such as the Trans-Siberian Railway, built between 1890 and 1916, were both political and economic. During the Tsarist Empire, it used to take about 3 months, often 5-6 months, for the mail to go between Moscow and Vladivostok. Some cities already had industries, and the most obvious thing was to connect them with each other. The stretch of the railroad between Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk is about 1,000 km; the total span from Moscow to Vladivostok is about 9,500 km; and the part built from Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains to Vladivostok in 1890-1916 is about 7,000 km. The most difficult line was the one going around Lake Baikal, which was on average five times as expensive as the rest of the route.
Courtesy of Dr. Sergei Cherkasov
Industrial centers were built along the line, and natural resources were developed, which otherwise would not have been feasible economically. The very fact of the construction of the entire route under 19th-Century conditions—that is, without the technical resources we have today—makes the whole project a wonder of the world, said Dr. Cherkasov. Some provinces with newly discovered silver and gold ore deposits are larger than the landmass of Germany. The task now is to determine the distribution of yet-undiscovered resources, since by no means have all areas been investigated, and there is still much more to discover.
Cherkasov clearly opposed the assumption that the Earth's raw materials have been exhausted. All it means is that a particular metal, for example, will be exhausted in five years, he said. But the Earth's radius is 6,300 km, and so far in Russia, we have only extensively explored the surface, hardly deeper than 400 meters, whereas Germany has uranium mineshafts over 2 km deep, and South Africa has shafts 4 km deep. The supply of mineral resources is still incalculably vast. In the 2006 Encyclopedia of the World's Largest Mineral Deposits, only 1,244 deposits are listed, which is less than 1% of known reserves. It takes large factories to exploit the basic types of metal, such as in Norilsk, where 100,000 people live and work. Only 950,000 people live in the whole of Yakutia, which is the size of Western Europe! We have to motivate people to go there, and work under the harsh conditions.
The Transaqua Project in Africa
Schiller Institute vice president Portia Tarumbwa-Strid called for Europeans to stop pushing solar panels and windmills, and help to develop Africa with high technology.
The Schiller Institute's vice president in Germany, Portia Tarumbwa-Strid, raised in her speech the issue of the "moral imperative" of development policy, and called for a new era of brotherhood of nations, with common goals such as supplying clean drinking water and food for all. The international community today has failed, since, statistically, a child dies from hunger every six seconds; in Chad and Niger, 20 million people are starving to death, while food price inflation, driven by speculation on the commodity markets, is actually even higher than in 2008, when the global protests against hunger broke out.
Europeans must immediately do what the Chinese are already doing in effect, namely, push through a "NAWAPA for Africa." The completion of the Jonglei Canal in Sudan is an important aspect; of its total length of 360 km, only 250 km was built in 1978-84. The Jonglei Canal is important to correct the problem of the swampiness of the Nile, and simultaneously to eradicate the malaria epidemics in the region, and to build up Sudan's agriculture as the "breadbasket of Africa." As soon as the artificial conflicts fomented by the British Empire in Africa are ended, it will be possible to seriously address the problems of high maternal mortality, outbreaks of cholera, tuberculosis, meningitis, measles, and malaria. Besides, according to Tarumbwa-Strid, the Sahara is by no means as dry as it looks superficially; satellite photos have shown underground lakes and rivers, which could provide water for hundreds of years.
Another task is the taming of the wild rivers that are still not navigable, and are not being used to produce hydroelectric energy. The Congo basin alone has enormous potential, as the second-largest region of the world in terms of rainfall. By diverting 100 billion cubic meters of water annually—which amounts to 5% of the water in the Congo basin—by a 2,400 km long navigable canal to the Chari River, and from there another 800 km to Niger and Chad, leading into Lake Chad, 12-17 million hectares of land could be made arable, and 100 million people could be supplied with agricultural products and electricity.
Tarumbwa-Strid then presented exclusive work by the Italian engineer Dr. Marcello Vichi (see accompanying article), who had conceived of the Transaqua project, and who said that for over 30 years, all the technologies and information have existed that would be required for pan-African infrastructure projects to overcome the chronic underdevelopment. It is the lack of political will that has prevented this up to now. The Transaqua project would create a giant labor market and local development models in Africa. Those 30 years took a high economic, political, and human toll.
Furthermore, said Tarumbwa-Strid, since Africa has no continental rail network, countless crops have rotted without ever reaching a market. She strongly endorsed the construction of nuclear desalination plants and a Transrapid maglev network, so that the continent that is now dark and dying, will become, in 2-3 generations, a paradise bathed with light.
It is not the Africans who are to blame for the underdevelopment of Africa, but the international financial system, which invests in such projects as Desertec, to place solar panels across the desert, which is favored by the Club of Rome. Desertec is not at all "green," since, on the contrary, it would mean the extermination of entire species of insects, while fertile land is rendered useless, all so that the electric power generated will not remain in Africa, but is delivered to Europe. This is the wrong way to go, said Tarumbwa-Strid. It would be much better to revive the policy of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who was mentioned by Zimbabwe's Information Minister at the EU summit in 2009; he said that Germany needed a leader like Bismarck, who had fought for unification of the peoples and the overcoming of injustice. Chancellor Merkel should learn her German history.
In any case, the policy of the EU today is felt to be worse than the policy of the colonial period. The only hope for justice for Africa is high-technology transfer. The German productive Mittelstand, the small and medium-sized business sector, should take on contracts for various aspects of the Transaqua project, and young people should learn the skills required for the tasks of the 21st Century by becoming engineers, technicians, scientists, and machine-builders. If this had been done back in the 1980s, young Africans today would not know about HIV, child soldiers, and the generation of refugees. The year 2010 is now the year that mankind should achieve moral adulthood.
Save Nuclear Power
Nuclear physicist Veit Ringel decried Germany’s policy of an “exit” from nuclear power. He worked for decades at East Germany’s Rossendorf nuclear research institute.
The last speaker was physicist Veit Ringel, who worked for many years at the Rossendorf Central Institute for Nuclear Research of the Academy of Sciences of the G.D.R. (East Germany), and gave some personal assessments of the nuclear energy situation. The propaganda in various current publications, he said, is doing great harm to our country and our economy. With the latest nuclear reactor models, such as the Pebble-Bed reactor, a meltdown is not physically possible, and questions of final waste disposal are mostly quite easy to resolve.
Ringel said that for 30-40 years, he worked as an expert in radiation protection, using the 10 MW reactor in Rossendorf, without any serious accident. Even after the reunification of Germany, they still had the know-how to keep doing world-class work. Germany's 17 nuclear power plants are otherwise still well represented among the top 10 of the 440 current reactors worldwide. But we are slowly grinding to a halt, because there are too few qualified technicians, and the cultural mood, based on half-truths and partial knowledge, contributes to the fact that this subject is no longer considered more deeply.
As a matter of fact, he said, radiation is a question of dose, and is not bad in itself; on the contrary, life would never have developed at all without ionizing radiation! Moreover, radioactive substances not only decay physically, but are also biologically broken down and excreted.
Germany developed the very best systems, such as reprocessing and the reuse of weapons-grade plutonium for fuel rods, both of which have been banned for political reasons. If politicians such as Jürgen Trittin, Renate Künast, and Sigmar Gabriel have their way, Germany will be deprived of the fruits of the scientific and technical work of its own engineers, scientists, and technicians.
Instead, we should build the high-temperature reactor, use it for water desalination in Africa, and use its process heat for coal liquefaction. In conclusion, Ringel cited former Greenpeace director Patrick Moore, who said that none of his colleagues had had a scientific education, and that they, without scientific objectivity, simply adopted a political "anti" attitude. The speaker said that he recognized that in this audience, he was addressing people who recognized the problems and have a solution for building up the world.