Skip to main content

Ralph Nader to Visit NEI

nader We bow to no one in our respect for Ralph Nader and the work he has done to expose government and corporate corruption and to work always for his fellow citizens. By extension, he has done good work for many other people throughout the world by inspiring them to look closely at their own institutions and to find fault where fault is found.

Mr. Nader has always been a gadfly, and a highly effective one, buzzing through the last several presidential elections, often with the Green Party, and persisting despite a certain wariness on the part of the press. Nader is completely free of any spin and external agenda aside from his own; his willingness to speak truth to the various powers that can overwhelm our lives is vital if the idea of America is to function at all - he cuts through the cant to get at the truth and then tries to make the truth more powerful than the myths that many prefer to subscribe to.

We ruminate about Mr. Nader because he will be speaking about nuclear energy outside the building NEI occupies. He will be there because NEI is here (we have two floors of a 13 story building, so our neighbors are in for a treat). Mr. Nader really, really doesn't like nuclear energy and hasn't liked it since at least the seventies.

Here's some of the announcement:

Now, nuclear power is resurgent.

Why?

Because politicians like McCain, Obama and Clinton all want to keep nuclear power on the table.

All three support legislation that would provide government taxpayer subsidies and guarantees to power companies to build nuclear power plants.

...

The billions are far safer and better spent supporting energy efficiency and solar energy projects than building these nuclear national security risk boondoggles.

...

Once again, we will be saying loud and clear - No Nukes.

To us, this has the whiff of the coffee house and of earnest folk singers singing earnest songs. The flyer mentions solar, but Nader favors any renewable, emission-free energy source that isn't nuclear.

We could quibble quite a lot about Nader's stances around nuclear - you can read all about it at his Web site - but won't in this post. We will say that Nader is holding tightly to ideas that have seen their best days come and go, but he's allowed. After all, if Robert De Niro can play in Bullwinkle, Ralph Nader can stage slightly old-style No Nukes gatherings without endangering his legacy. It is what it is.

So if you find yourself around 19th and I in DC today at noon, stop on by and see Ralph Nader. Shake hands with him: he's a living legend, after all - a vexing one for us, certainly, but there you go.

By all means, visit Mr. Nader's Web site and see what you think. They have a blog (where the above snippets come from), a way for you to contribute to his campaign, and various position papers.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Wow ... that guy will do anything for attention. I almost feel sorry for him.
Kirk Sorensen said…
And here I thought he was going to come inside and actually talk to you...too bad for him.
Anonymous said…
Certainly a man with impressive achievements.
1. Instrumental in the election of G.W.B. in 2000.
2. Instrumental in the establishment of the SUV as the American car (as small, efficient ones are after all "Unsafe at any speed").
3. A pioneer in the anti-nuclear movement and therefore partially responsible for thousands of coal deaths per year.

Those credentials alone show a man with large influence in the creation and maintenance of global warming and dependence on fossil fuels. What a career to be proud of.
Mark Flanagan said…
We wish he would have come up, too. I can guarantee there would have been no contentiousness and a lot of NEI folks would have loved to hear him in a more intimate setting than downtown DC at lunch hour.

There is certainly a lot you can criticize Nader for, but the idea of Nader - and much of what the man has accomplished - is so overwhelmingly positive, we'll take the bitter with the sweet.

That said, shame about that 2000 election - especially if you're a Democrat - but Nader didn't stand in voting booths and wrestle votes away from Mr. Gore (or Mr. Bush, either). Our fellow Americans did that all by themselves. Some folks call it democracy.
David Walters said…
As Nader often states, it was Gore that caused him to lose the electoin in 2000. Ha!

Well, I for one respect Nader even if I disagree with him. Interestingly, his absolute worse positions, most poorly argued, most...date-by-plagerizition of other non-experts is on nuclear energy. Simply terrible. And sad, because at the end of the say, every minus he place next to fission is a plus next to fossil, whether he knows it or not.

David Walters
gunter said…
It was great to see NEI employees out there getting Ralph's autograph; evidence that this can be about issues and not personalities with perhaps the exception of "anonymous."

Anon, remember, it was Ralph who effectively fought to get us all in seatbelts--now standard issue for both SUVs and compact cars alike. Same can be said for Ralph's efforts to level the playingfield for the energy market. I remind you that NEI was chaired by Mr. Anthony Early Jr., the coal tycoon---so you can get off your high horse that there is some sort of distinction in the thermoelectric industry's agenda.
Anonymous said…
I feel quite positive about the world after reading these posts.

When US nuclear power capacity factors were in the low 60's in the 1980's, those in the industry projected much of their blame on outside forces. In the 1990's, as the first several poorly performing nuclear plants were sold to more competent utilities and then their performance rapidly improved, the industry learned that the most important ingredient for success is competent management and listening to criticism, and then striving to improve.

Now we need to learn whether this can be the case for new construction too. So far the evidence is mixed.

It has been a very long time since the public has been willing to give nuclear the benefit of the doubt, and nuclear's reemergence has come about only because its performance has improved. Nuclear must set the highest of expectations for its managers and workers, and accept criticism as a valuable input to further improve its performance.

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…