Thursday, June 07, 2007

Winning the Public Relations Battle One Mind at a Time

A few days ago, I noted a post from Steven Aplin about how Ontario's achievements in carbon emissions reduction are being purposely ignored by environmental activists.

Then again, there are others who understand the need for new nuclear, like David Goodings of Burlington, Ontario, who wrote the following in a letter to the editor in the Toronto Star:

Like the proverbial generals who continue to fight the last war while preparing for the next one, Greenpeace Canada's Dave Martin continues to tilt against nuclear power with 30-year-old arguments – despite the fact that the world around him has dramatically changed.

An entirely different opinion was recently expressed by the co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, who had this to say in a May 11, 2007 article in the Hamilton Spectator: "When I helped found Greenpeace in Vancouver in the 1970s, my colleagues and I were firmly opposed to nuclear energy. But times have changed. I now realize nuclear energy is the only non-greenhouse gas-emitting power source that can effectively replace fossil fuels and satisfy Canada's growing demand for energy."

Environmentalist James Lovelock has also recognized nuclear energy's contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Three years ago, he wrote: "We cannot continue drawing energy from fossil fuels, and there is no chance that the renewables – wind, tide and water power – can provide enough energy and in time.... Only one immediately available source does not cause global warming and that is nuclear energy."

As society shifts away from coal, oil and natural gas, it is inevitable that demand for electrical power will grow, despite efforts aimed at conservation and energy efficiency. It is fortunate that public opinion in Ontario, the U.K. and elsewhere appears to be moving rapidly toward accepting nuclear energy.
Looks like a battle that's going to be won one person at a time.


Stewart Peterson said...

And how will it be won, one person at a time?

Does it not require the internet age equivalent of a phone tree, chiefly among young people, and chiefly on campuses around the country? And how shall we do this?

I have no silver bullet answers to the above questions; I simply wish to put them out for consideration.

gunter said...

Speaking of Lovelock and young people, did anybody else notice the today's UK news story of the results of a May 2007 poll conducted right around release of the government energy white paper where support for nuclear power has fallen to around 35%. The percentage opposed has remained roughly the same so the supporters must have moved into undecided and "don't knows". More than a third of the UK public doesn't have a view on nuclear pro or con the poll found.

Chief among the growing disenchantment with nuclear power was women and a newly discovered shift in opinion of young people age groups up to 44 years of age.

Clearly nuclear power can lose a mind one person at a time, as well and even by whole age brackets.


Randal Leavitt said...

People who think that nuclear power is good are going to have to do some work. There are lots of opportunities. Currently the UK government is asking for input concerning its future nuclear power policies. People should use this to write some overpowering statements about nuclear energy. The UK government will read them. The request for input is here:

I am developing my response here:

Speak out, and encourage others to do the same.