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Blogging Yourself into a Corner

nuclear-headerWe occasionally take a look at Greenpeace's Nuclear Reaction blog (subtitle: "Blogging the Meltdown of the Nuclear Industry") so we can see if some interesting new meme is springing up we may want to note.

A couple of stories caught our eyes:

Business Wire: Areva: Revenue and Data for the First Nine Months of 2008
The group cleared revenue of 9.1 billion euros over the first nine months of 2008, up 12.9% compared with the same period in 2007.


The Deal: Northrop Grumman in $360M nuclear deal with French MNC
Defense and technology company Northrop Grumman Corp. said its shipbuilding division is creating a joint venture with France's Areva SA to build a manufacturing and engineering facility in Newport News, Va., to supply the American nuclear energy sector.

Nothing says meltdown of the nuclear industry more than profitability and an expanding infrastructure. We cannot say the blog is being unfair with its readership, though, so points for honesty.


Anonymous said…
Note that Northrop runs a shipyard. Expect that Areva is also looking for modular construction technology, the same as is used in modern shipbuilding. Excellent!

Greenpeace has their head firmly embedded in the sand when they say that nuclear will be too expensive. These new construction technologies will bring costs down greatly over this coming decade.
Anonymous said…
If costs are their metric for hating nuclear, then they should really, really, really hate so-called "renewables" like wind and solar. The costs for those (on a unit output basis) are so much higher. The environmentalist wackos were just fighting tooth and nail for continued direct federal subsidies for those industries. And for good reason. They wouldn't exist without them.
Brian Mays said…
Hmm ... I notice that nobody seems to bother to comment on the Greenpeace blog. At least, I count only 4 comments on the blog for the entire month of October. I wonder why?

It kind of brings up a new twist on the old philosophical question about the tree in the forest:

If a paid Greenpeace propagandist tells a lie and no one is around to read it, do they still get a donation?
Anonymous said…
As stated on the site
"Comments are moderated. Thanks for waiting.)"

None of the comments I made ever showed up. I guess "moderated" is a polite term for "not tolerated unless they tell us how smart we are."

Now, NEI's blog is moderated as well, but my comments usually appear after a short wait.
Anonymous said…
If Greenpeace tells a lie, then why not sue them?
Anonymous said…
"If Greenpeace tells a lie, then why not sue them?"

Because it doesn't meet US libel standards. You have to prove that 1) the party being sued knew they were lying, and 2) intended to do damage to the party or parties being libeled.

Don't like the message? Kill the messenger. That's not how it's supposed to work in a constitutional democracy. If you don't like what someone says, counter with your own exercise of free speech, rather than litigating to take away their rights.
Brian Mays said…
The question was asked:

If Greenpeace tells a lie, then why not sue them?

Sue them? That would give these little attention whores exactly what they want! No, it's better to expose their lies for what they are and ridicule them for their blatant innumeracy.

I'm all for free speech, especially in this case, when the facts are so obviously stacked against them.

Sure, there are folks who will believe the stuff that they post on their blog, but then again, there are folks who believe that UFOs are flown by little green men and there are folks who believe that Elvis is still alive. All of these groups deserve to be consigned to the dustbin of popular culture, forever to be considered as laughing stocks.

Judging by the number of comments, it appears that few people -- except those who would point out the errors in the articles and whom are immediately censored -- are willing to even respond to the ludicrous postings that dominate this "blog." Thus, we have yet another example of how Greenpeace and its sister organizations represent a "lunatic fringe" that is far out of touch with the majority of the public on issues such as this one.
Mark Flanagan said…
To Brian and anon:

Just a note to clarify that Nuclear Notes only excludes comments that include personal attacks or bad language (by which we mean swearing).
We never moderate for content. But we do want a civilized conversation.
I'd be surprised if Greenpeace were any different.
Brian Mays said…
Frankly, Mark, I'd be surprised if Greenpeace did not moderate for content, especially considering that their usual tactics serve only to shut down discussion, not promote it.

It is not uncommon for anti-nuclear organizations to take a heavy hand with moderation on the Internet. For example, Paul Gunter's group, Beyond Nuclear, used to heavily moderate for content when they had a blog (, which is now defunct). I know, since I tried posting civil comments on that blog that were never published.

For several years, Mr. Gunter has commented on this blog rather frequently, so it's clear that the comment policy here is quite liberal. It's just a shame that his organization does not offer the same opportunity to voice opposing viewpoints. Then again, looking at the history of the anti-nuclear movement, it appears that their past success has been largely the result of the failure of those who are truly knowledgeable about the science and technology to speak up.

In a open, rational discussion of the issues, Greenpeace and Beyond Nuclear lose the debate. Their only chance is to keep their audience ignorant. That's the first rule of propaganda, and that's a key strategy for success when canvassing for donations.
Anonymous said…
"Nuclear Notes only excludes comments that include personal attacks or bad language (by which we mean swearing)."

And yet you allow posters to call those who work for Greenpeace "whores," which is both offensive and potentially libelous?
kb said…
This back and forth is tiring, tedious, and unproductive.

Civility, please.
kb said…
Geez, I sound like such a schoolmarm.
Brian Mays said…
I suggest that the anonymous commenter above should look up the definition of whore. My use of the term to describe Greenpeace is along the lines of "a venal or unscrupulous person," which I think describes them nicely.

If you think my use of one word is "offensive and potentially libelous," then you should check out the latest posting on the Greenpeace blog, which shamelessly describes hard-working, highly educated professionals in the nuclear industry as incompetent, dishonest, and unconcerned for their own health. This was not a random comment on their site, this was a regular blog entry!
Anonymous said…
"incompetent, dishonest, and unconcerned for their own health."

None of these words are generally considered offensive language. And you know full well that the definition of "whore" you cite is not the primary one, which relates to exchange of sexual services for money.

And since when is "Greenpeace does it too, so it's OK" the standard for this blog?
Anonymous said…
"Civility, please."

Agreed. But your comment is best addressed to those who insist on using foul language.

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