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Understanding the Lie of the Anti-nuclear Activist

While reading my Google Alerts today, I came across a gem of a blog entitled, Understanding the Lie Of The Nuclear Cycle.

It occurs to me that there are plenty of reasons to be against just about any source of energy, be it fossil fuels (CO2), nuclear (waste), or even wind (ecological impact), solar (toxic waste), or hydro (migratory fish). But when the facts aren't sensational enough to stir up emotional opposition, the anti-(fill in the blank) need only make something up.

Take cancer rates for instance.

We've all heard the far-fetched claims of often-debunked pediatrician-turned-nuclear-expert Helen Caldicott before: Cancer rates are higher around nuclear facilities. But the questions she can never answer, even when asked face to face: If your claims are true, then why do medical studies, such as the one performed by Johns Hopkins University of over 30,000 nuclear workers, show no increase in cancer rates - even for the people who work closest with this radioactive material? Why aren't the thousands of nuclear workers who have been working in commercial nuclear power plants for the last 40 years not dropping like overripe grapefruits? And why do the people of France, where 80% of the power is provided by nuclear, have the *lowest* cancer and infant mortality rates and the longest life expectancy in all of Europe? Why is that?

Probably some French-government cover-up or Bush conspiracy, huh?

Understanding the Lie of the Anti-nukes: If the facts aren't compelling enough, just make something up.


Michael Stuart said…
Anyone wishing to post a comment on that blog should note that all comments are filtered by the moderator. This is particularly unfortunate those of us that might have something factual to say.

Apparently, in order to get a comment posted there you must either:

1. agree with the author,
2. present a weak argument that the author can easily refute, or
3. wait until the author has had sufficient time to write a smack-down rebuttal before posting your comment.

Sadly, that is no way to foster a debate.

The author of that blog should note that even NEI's blog allows unmoderated comments.
Joffan said…
Correction, commenting is moderated here. Maybe not for designated contributors Michael :) but certainly for the rest of us mortals.
Joseph said…
The comments on depleted uranium alone are evidence they're not exactly rigorous thinkers.
G. R. L. Cowan said…
The same stuff is here. I was able to post a comment.
Funny, but I know of several anti nuclear messages that have been eliminated from NEI Nuclear Notes blog, so the statement that they do not moderate comments is a falsehood.

Even more amazing, is they seem incapable of addressing the facts of the article they reference, but instead toss out epitaphs...shoot the messenger, and maybe people will miss the truth spoken has always been NEI's modus operandi.

What's wrong NEI, cannot stand the fact that someone posted a fact that dispels the myth you have been putting out to the public that Nuclear Energy is a CO2 free energy source that will save us from Global Warming? Or instead are you upset that you and your attack rats scouring the internet have not been able to kill the Green Nuclear Butterfly blog?
Eric McErlain said…
To clarify, comments have been moderated on this blog for a while now, and we were forced to when the tenor, not the substance, of the conversation became inflamed.

Michael's comments are not moderated, as he's an approved contributor to the blog. My apologies to Michael for not clarifying that.
JimHopf said…
There were absolutely no "facts" in the GNB blog that showed that nuclear emits significant amounts of CO2. No quantitative analysis at all.

It turns out, quantitative analyses HAVE been done, in numerous scientific studies, such as the one here:

All these analyses show the same thing. The net CO2 emissions of the entire nuclear process, are negligible compared to fossil fuels. Specifically, ~2% that of coal, and ~5% that of gas. The studies also show that nuclear's net emissions are similar to those of renewable sources.
Michael Stuart said…
Thanks for the clarification, Eric. For those keeping score: I was mistaken. (No revisionist history in the making.)

Now, in lame attempt to wipe that egg from my face, extract the foot from my mouth, and wash down the taste of crow, I'll also note that the moderators of this blog will certainly post dissenting opinions, as our antipodean friend Paul has proven, ad nauseum.
Eric McErlain said…
As for the continued question concerning nuclear energy and total lifecycle emissions, I refer our guests to the following page on the NEI Web site where we list a number of third party studies that address that question.
Anonymous said…
What's wrong NEI, cannot stand the fact that someone posted a fact that dispels the myth you have been putting out to the public that Nuclear Energy is a CO2 free energy source that will save us from Global Warming?

Um, I've never seen NEI make this claim. What they will claim, and what is backed up by facts, is that nuclear energy produces far less CO2 per unit energy produced than any other form of major energy out there.

This is a pretty conventional tactic for you guys: create a fictional extreme argument (NO CO2 production) and then proceed to call it a lie, even though nuclear energy is closer to your fictional extreme than any other source.

Or instead are you upset that you and your attack rats scouring the internet have not been able to kill the Green Nuclear Butterfly blog?

Um, to do that, they would have to have your user name and password, log into Blogger, erase your blog, and then hope you don't recreate it somewhere else as the "Purple Nuclear Butterfly".

Am I to understand that your arguments are valid because you have a blog and because NEI is somehow unable to delete it? What kind of fantasy world are you and your split personalities living in?
Kirk Sorensen asked:

What kind of fantasy world are you and your split personalities living in?

Have you visited their blog?! If you think that the comment above is absurd, you have just seen the tip of the iceberg.

I don't know what these guys are smoking, but it must be some good stuff. Mostly, they're just immature loonies (for guys that claim to be in their mid-50s, they act like 10-year-olds), who are useful for a good laugh every now and then -- if you are into the surreal, that is.

Don't entertain hopes of having an intelligent, or even semi-intelligent, debate with them. They will continue to put out ridiculous statements, incredulous claims, blatant misinterpretations, and outright lies -- without even trying to provide data or references to back them up.

In short, these losers are the Jerry Springer of the anti-nuclear movement. And saying that is an insult to Jerry Springer.
Shaking head...can always tell when the anti-nuclear folks strike a nerve in the Pro-Nuclear Propaganda camp, as they come out in droves,simlar to lemmings, attacking the messenger. You all claim a desire to enter into constructive debate, but the name calling and insults exhibited on this NEI sanctioned blog and else where prove otherwise.

Go take a swim in the spent fuel pools to cool off, you are making fools of yourself...lets see if Eric lets this post through, or is it only Pro-Nuclear idiots who can toss around insults and name call on this site?
Nice ... thanks for making my point, Jerry. (or is it Mr. Springer?)

Care to actually contribute something substantive to this forum here? Or can you do anything more than bitch and moan that ... "oh ... the evil pro-nuclear people treat me so bad ... oh their lemmings just attack and attack. Waaahh!!"

Ever read the bulls--- that you shovel out about Entergy employees? Pot ... kettle. Fricking crybabies.

Come on. Give us something real, Mr. Butterfly. Cute little pictures to amuse the immature and illiterate will get you nowhere here. Give us some substance.

For the clueless out there (i.e., you "porgie"), note that I'm not attacking this person. I'm attacking his message, or the lack thereof, because he has no real message. Now, put your money where your mouth is and give us something real to talk about.

Personally, I'm betting that we'll get nothing from you.
Eric McErlain said…
Given the tenor of this conversation, I'll be closing this thread permanently in short order.

Once again, I ask that anyone participating in a discussion here stick to the facts. I've held back comments before, and I won't hesitate to do so again.

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