Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Show 'Em It's Not a Knee-Jerk

Last Thursday, Eric reported on the nuclear debate in Canada, but he missed what I thought was the most interesting part of the article.

The reporter said that there is a ...

[N]uance creeping into the language of some environmentalists who are still far from sold on nuclear power. Even David Suzuki, the public face and living patron saint of the Canadian green movement, has raised eyebrows by declaring in at least two broadcast interviews that he doesn't take a "knee-jerk" position against nuclear energy, although he remains, for now at least, firmly opposed.

In an email exchange with Maclean's, Suzuki explained his position.

"I don't say unequivocally that nuclear is not an option. It may very well be sometime in the future," he wrote. "But right now, I think it's nuts to even suggest nuclear.
It seems that I have heard a lot of similar talk south of the border. Antis want to appear to be open to reason. But to say that "it's nuts to even suggest nuclear" rather spoils the effect.

So here is some advice to anti-nukes. If you want to show people how open you are to reason, tell them about the splendid safety record of nuclear power plants, about how small the related carbon emissions are, how the radiation workers in the plants are healthier than the population as a whole, and how the volume of spent fuel is so small that power plants can (and do!) keep decades worth on site.

Mention that some countries recycle the fuel. And, of course, be sure to mention the low-cost, reliable electric power. If you do that, people will know that your opposition is not a knee-jerk reaction. Then leave your comments here so everyone will know how your message is received.

I'll be waiting.


Joffan said...

The David Suzuki Foundation has a fairly reflexive "anti" position on nuclear power, with misleading statements and lopsided analysis. I was wondering whether some correspondence with Dr Suzuki would shift their position at least to neutral (although perhaps there is no such position).

Anonymous said...

I can appreciate the dilemma faced by the environmental movement. Logic, reason, and practicality has never been their strong suite. The issues of global warming and Nuclear power vs. fossil fuel usage presents them a real credibility challenge. I'm delighted to see continuing evidence of an internal debate and a self examination of their anti-nuclear dogma. Maybe these are baby steps, but for once they may be headed in the right direction. Give'm another 6 months, and maybe they will start to invite US to join with THEM? I'm always optimistic.

--Bill Vidalin