Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Unbuilding a Building - and Obama Dissents

Despite our pre-Thanksgiving prep-for-bloat kind of lethargic mood, we thought we point you to a couple of interesting videos. Here's one from the BBC about the disassembly of the Sellafield Cumbrian plant. This isn't a nuclear power plant, but a plant at which plutonium was produced for bombs. We can't think of a nicer plant to go to pieces. Note: If you're not British, you'll have to listen quite closely to decommissioning manager Euan Hutton, who narrates, because he frequently disappears into a thicket of accent. Worth watching more than once to catch all he has to say.


Well, all right, we can rouse ourselves from thoughts of gobblers and bog fruit to express dismay about Jim Riccio's sourpuss ding on NEI central. Of all people, he knows that advocacy organizations make the most positive case possible for the object of their advocacy and he also knows that credibility craters if NEI or Greenpeace or any other such entity spins facts into lies or hides discordant information. Neither NEI nor Greenpeace do these things - they're both quite effective in making their cases and they're both quite credible. Their goals are not even all that far apart, although NEI by its nature is less general in its topic areas.

Here's what Riccio says:

So rather than calling for an expansion of nuclear power, the Obama/Biden campaign actually acknowledged the dirty and dangerous downside of nuclear power and the risk that expanding nuclear power would lead to the spread of nuclear weapons.

Dirty and dangerous, proliferation? - nuh uh. What Obama and Biden said on the stump and in the debates is that safety is key but that nuclear has to be part of any energy policy solution that addresses carbon reduction. Search for Obama and Biden in the handy box above and you'll see we've caught virtually every reference to nuclear energy they made during the campaign.

And here, for your viewing pleasure, the president-elect says the same thing again (at California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's international climate change summit; the reference to nuclear energy is at 1:46):

Riccio doesn't have to like nuclear energy and can fight it tooth and tong with the full weight of his intellectual weight behind him - but he cannot generate his own facts. They must align with reality.


And a Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! We suspect our foreign readers have holidays with highly circumscribed menus and opportunities for family dismay, woe and loads of love. This is America's and by plane, train and automobile, half the country will alight in the other half's dining rooms for festive overeating and reconnecting with every last twig of the family tree. So eat a lot, keep your temper even and find the comfiest chair in the house to enjoy a good solid nap after the last slice of pumpkin pie has slipped into the last crevice your stomach has available in it.


Red Craig said...

Mark, how could you possibly conclude that Greenpeace doesn't "spin facts into lies or hide discordant information?"

Here's some of the spittle Greenpeace is spraying on its website:


"... However, despite the nuclear industry's abysmal economics and atrocious safety record and the added threat of nuclear terrorism, President Bush and the U.S. Senate are prepared to dole out billions of taxpayer dollars to Vice President Cheney's friends to construct new nuclear reactors.

"Never mind that these new reactor designs are unsafe, uneconomic and unnecessary. The Bush administration is willing to have the U.S. taxpayer split the cost for new nuclear reactors that the industry would never build on its own."

Greenpeace doesn't care the slightest about its credibility cratering. Its entire income derives from scaring people into sending it money. Nobody turns to Greenpeace for information, only for validation. People who save baby seals from being clubbed to death don't have to know science or do arithmetic and people who see it on TV love them for it.

In the article you linked, Mr. Riccio merely echoes the usual Greenpeace slogans. I can't imagine why you would put yourself in company with him.

RightDemocrat said...

Let's not give up yet on convincing the new Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress to support expanded nuclear power. Obama seems to be a pragmatist not a rigid idealogue.

We need to spread the word about positive environmental and economic impact of nuclear power and keep public opinion shifting in our direction.

The case for use of atomic energy needs to be made among progressives, minority groups, union leaders and environmentalists. And there are a number of progressives and Democrats who already support nuclear power.

D Kosloff said...

The Greenpeace Scam by Alan Caruba (6/1/08) provides a different view. It may be accessed at the link below.