Thursday, August 8, 2013

(Related Update 2): Enviros for nuclear?

Related update 2:  Can it be that the pro-nuclear power documentary Pandora's Promise, discussed below, is gaining traction among the global warming alarmists? Nuclear power engineer Joseph Somsel, writing at WattsUpWithThat, says the alarmists would be wise to adopt a position of support for the nuclear power industry.  Interestingly though, he doesn't think the feeling should go the other way:
...is it in nuclear power’s best interest to make public alliance with the climate change crowd?  I say no, citing the growing awareness of the “tells” on display, i. e. signs of fraud, we see documented here on WUWT and elsewhere.  “Lie down with the dogs and get up with fleas” is my warning.  Of course, any rational environmentalist SHOULD embrace nuclear just on its relative conventional pollutant profile and would be welcome to say kind words about nuclear – just don‘t ask that the support be reciprocated.
Interesting article that you can find here.

Related updates:  Hank Campbell, writing at Science 2.0, had a couple of interesting posts about the topics of the original OLS post below.  First up is his discussion of how a leading enviro NGO -- Friends of the Earth -- essentially hates energy in all its forms, including nuclear power.  Here's a slice from that piece:
And then some people at Friends of the Earth are just plain wrong, no different than Greenpeace or Union of Concerned Scientists or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. They incorrectly believe nuclear power is an environmental issue the way pollution is. Dr. James Hansen, the world's leading advocate for reducing CO2 emissions, abandons activists and agrees with science on this issue, and co-authored a paper claiming 1.6 million lives have been saved by displacing coal with nuclear power.
There is a lot more in Campbell's well-written and well-informed article.  Check it out here.

In the original post below I mentioned the release of a new documentary, Pandora's Promise, by a former anti-nuclear power advocate turned supporter. In the second article Campbell discusses the movie and interviews the director of the movie, Robert Stone.  This, too, is well worth the effort. 

Original post:  One of the many hypocrisies and inconsistencies of the environmentalism movement involves their vicious, and irrational, attitude towards nuclear power.  If the goal really is reducing CO2 emmissions without simultaneously halting the advance of modern civilization, then there is only one option that makes sense for the enviros: nuclear power.  And yet they hate nuclear power almost as much as fossil fuels (the reason for that is beyond the scope of this specific post, but here's a short answer: because it's not about reducing CO2; it's about anti-capitalism and statism).

So, with that background, this afternoon's post concerns a recent documentary movie created by a former anti-nuclear power enviro who has seen the light.  It's called Pandora's Promise and though I haven't seen it yet, it certainly seems like it has the potential to change the nature of the debate on this topic, particularly within the environmental community itself.  Here's an introductory excerpt from a review:
It takes Robert Stone's controversial new documentary Pandora's Promise 30 minutes and five apostate environmentalists, but it finally gets to the point: Nuclear power, the energy source many people fear most, is the best and currently only way to satisfy the world's voracious demand for electricity without producing carbon dioxide and other emissions that contribute to climate change.
The excerpt is from a review of the movie over at Popular Mechanics and is absolutely worth reading.  It not only reviews the movie, but provides a nice intro to the standard enviro complaints about nuclear as well as the legitimate responses to those mistaken views.  For example,
And third, Stone says, is that environmentalists have wildly exaggerated the dangers of nuclear power, especially when compared with the health and environmental damage inflicted by the production and consumption of fossil fuels. The reason, he argues: The baby boomers who came of age during the Cold War and founded the environmental movement equate nuclear power with nuclear weapons—hence the intense anxiety about anything nuclear.