Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Conspicuous By Their Absence

A coalition of "nearly 300" activist groups have signed a document reiterating their opposition to the expansion of nuclear energy. But when you take a closer look, there's really less, and more, than meets the eye.

"Nearly 300" really means 274 once you see the list. Do a little more digging, and you'll find that many of the organizations that are local chapters of national organizations that also signed the document -- and I call double counting. Subtract those from the list, and the total is really 232.

And among those 232, you'll find many of the usual suspects: Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Nuclear Information Research Center, Nuclear Policy Research Institute, Public Citizen and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

But instead of thinking of those organizations, I'd rather focus on the environmental groups who aren't on the list. The absence of those names ought to tell you all you need to know about this effort, and the way public debate about nuclear energy is changing for the better.

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1 comment:

Norris McDonald said...

Great observation. I told the nuclear industry folks early on that some of the mainstream national environmental groups are not aggressively anti nuclear. The Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society are examples of groups that haven't had a dog in the anti nuclear fight. Even Environmental Defense is supporting McCain/Lieberman (although they still oppose the nuclear subsidies).

Most of the groups fear retaliation from the screamers if they support nuclear power. Plus, the foundation world put a ton of money into the anti nuclear cause back in the 1980's. I hope the foundations are rethinking their position. AAEA is testing those waters by submitting a proposal to study nuclear power in relation to minority communities.