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Let us imagine, however, the worst case. Suppose the Sandinista Directorate refused, in these circumstances, to lift the suspension of civil liberties, but to the contrary embarked on what could be fairly interpreted to be a long-term policy of creating a totalitarian society. As long as an invasion was a possibility, they could use that face in justification of the tightening crackdown. Suppose Reagan invaded. We would all have the same duty we had during Vietnam, to resist and oppose the war with all our might. But once again the right would have the hammer on public opinion: “We are fighting communism.” Relief from this worst-case possibility must be sought openly and now, while there is time. Several of the correspondents in the Observer argue that raising questions about civil liberties now helps Reagan whip up sentiment for war. \(“Dugger’s focus on Nicaragua’s wartime emergency measures only serves the Reagan administration’s goal of turning attention from the illegality and immorality of U.S. aggression there” Hahn, et al. “The handwringing of liberals plays into the hands of Reagan’s policies” Harrington. “It only plays into Reagan’s hands and gives acquiescence to interventionism to attack the Sandinistas for not fully honoring the This argument has some force; it deters many American civil libertarians from speaking up as I have done. But not raising the issue, in time for real effect on the Sandinistas, risks giving Reagan exactly what he wants and does i N 1984, nuclear energy became more expensive than coal for the generation of electricity . Once touted as “too cheap to meter” in the early 1970s, nuclear energy has become too expensive to afford, according to the nuclear industry’s own figures. A survey by the Atomic Industrial 68 nuclear, 64 coal, and 14 oil units showed the average cost of electricity George Barnwell is a biomatheinatician/statistician at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. He was a member of the Technical Advisory Panel for the San Antonio Energy Study. not yet have a convincing argument that Nicaragua is communist. American progressives will be able to go forward to public opinion against Reagan’s war on Nicaragua more confidently and effectively if the Sandinistas show that, spared war and invasion, they will respect the civil liberties of their citizens. It is highly relevant that American progressives have both access to the Sandinistas and influence with them. The position of American progressives must be made clear now, before the Reagan campaign escalates to the sending in of troops, first, because he may never dare undertake doing so if the Sandinistas show themselves to be pluralistic, and second, because if he tries to do so anyway, the belief in democracy can then be turned against sending troops. Of course there’s risk. Of course Reagan may invade and I, for one, in the retrospect, may come to regret having raised the civil liberties issue at this time. But I have decided, I believe correctly, that I would rather risk that and try to have the right influence on the direction of the government of Nicaragua while its resumption of respect for civil liberties can still help us to thwart Reagan’s will to invade, then say nothing about civil liberties now and risk having a doubly wrong influence, assenting by silence to the consolidation of another dictatorship on the left and weakening, by that complicity of silence, the opposition to an American invasion among the American people. On a matter as epochal as democracy generated by nuclear plants to be 4.1 ran at 3.4 cents/kwh and oil at 7.4 in 1984, nuclear-generated electricity cost an average of 20.6 percent more than coal-generated power. What’s more, nuclear energy is likely to become even more expensive compared to coal. While coal electrical generating costs have increased by an average of 2.2 percent yearly, nuclear costs have increased by an average of 15 percent yearly over the last few -years. If this trend continues, the cost of electricity generated from nuclear plants will double every five years, jumping to 8.2 cents/kwh by 1989, 16.5 or totalitarianism, civil liberties or prison and death for dissenters, should serious people consent to be intimidated or cudgeled into taking a simple position in the name of supporting the revolution? They should not. Serious people should respond with positions as complex as the major issues actually are. We must resist Reagan’s will to overthrow the government of Nicaragua. And as American progressives with access to and influence on the Sandinistas, we must tax them on civil liberties and warn them that if they let the totalitarians among them prevail, they lose us. Even in the midst of the struggle against aid to the contras and Reagan’s will to attack Nicaragua, I am not willing I never will be willing to play patsy to Leninists who hate and crush democracy. The Sandinistas should know, publicly and unmistakably, that the American progressive community opposes totalitarianism, whether material justice comes with it or not. I want us by the positions we take to strengthen the democrats and weaken the dictators in Nicaragua \(just as, at long last, we have done in the killing and invading, but by confronting the Sandinistas about their course and embodying and advocating our actual values to them. What the Nicaraguans do then is their affair, but we will not have used the rottenness of the Reagan administration as our excuse for strangling our own conscience. cents/kwh by 1994, and 33.1 cents/kwh by 1999. Meanwhile, coal would cost 4.7 cents/kwh by 1999. Of course it’s risky business to make 15-year projections on the assumption that the annual rates of increase will remain constant: too many unforeseeable and uncontrollable factors affect them. For that same reason, we shouldn’t build any more nuclear plants. Any large-scale construction project requiring eight or more years to complete could be obsolete or unaffordable by the time it’s finished. advocates have argued that STNP will yield cheaper electricity because nuclear fuel costs less than coal. But these proponents have only been emphasizing current fuel costs. AIF’s data show that from 1981 to 1984 nuclear fuel rose by about 12.2 percent yearly, while coal increased by only 2.0 percent yearly. At these rates, nuclear fuel will cost as much as coal in about 10 years, and nuclear energy will be uneconomical by any standard sooner than that. The Hard, Coal Facts About Nuclear Energy By George Barnwell THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17