Skip to main content

And Winning Some More

20070529-GreetingsFromIllinois We won’t run every story along these lines, since it could be come tedious, but we mentioned last week that knocking down nuclear bans has gained momentum, and though there are failed attempts – as in Wyoming – there are successes, too – as in Iowa. Here’s another success, rather oddly introduced by The Chicago Sun-Times’ by Dave McKinney and Steve Contorno:

The Illinois Senate voted Monday to undo a 23-year-old ban on the construction of new nuclear plants in a move one anti-nuclear activist predicted could turn Illinois into a “radioactive waste repository.”

Well, no, not really, but why not lead a successful legislative story with a comment by someone against the legislation? “America will be overrun with dogs and cats,” said an anti-pet activist after a pro-pet legislation passed the Senate. 

Seems a little sour, yes? Especially when you consider this:

The lone dissenter in the Senate, Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston), said Illinois should focus on wind and solar energy production instead of increased nuclear capacity, where “there is a broad lack of consequences.”

One Nay vote? This wasn’t even controversial. (The vote was 40-1.) Now, the legislation moves to the House – if there are two Nay votes, we expect the Sun-Times to quote both of them and none of the supporters. Sheesh!


This is what Bill Gates said on his blog about nuclear energy

"Nuclear energy is worth pursuing, wind and solar are good but have limitations, and the government is putting minuscule amounts of money into energy R&D dollars.”

"[Nuclear energy is] the only thing we have today other than hydrocarbons that provides a lot of power and you could build a lot more of it."

We noted this at the time – pounced on it, as you might imagine – but mostly as an interesting endorsement. But Clark Williams-Derry over at the Daily Score wants us to know Gates didn’t really mean it:

If you watch the whole interview, what's really driving Gates isn't a passion for nuclear power -- it's a passion for energy research.   He believes that that society should ramp up research in all sorts of energy technologies -- carbon sequestration, energy storage, solar, nuclear, you name it -- in search of that game changer that scales globally and radically reduces climate-warming emissions.  He recognizes that most of that research will lead nowhere -- perhaps including his own current project. But if just one idea pans out, it will change the world. (emphasis his)

This is about Gates’ TED talk not the podcast on the Web site, but that describes the podcast, too. Derry-Williams is right enough as not to matter, but we suspect what struck people (and us) is that Gates only identified one technology he put down some of his own money to support and that’s TerraPower’s travelling wave technology.

It’s not that Gates is picking a winner, it’s that he’s interested enough to support the technology.

This is a very minor push back on our part. Derry-Williams makes a number of interesting points, so be sure to read his whole piece.


Sterling Archer said…
At the risk of napalming a dead horse, this is the liberal mainstream media we're talking about -- your taking them to task is amusing, but no one is surprised by what they're writing and spinning.
Anonymous said…
liberal mainstream media

This is such a tired and inaccurate cliche. Rupert Murdoch and Fox are taking over the planet, and you're whining about the "liberal mainstream media"?

I know you'd prefer that only your side be quoted, but that's not how it works in a democracy.
DocForesight said…
@Anon- At least look at the overall picture: ABC, CBS, NBC, virtually all the major city newspapers and news magazines are decidedly center- left in their reportage and editorial pages. The voting record of journalists in the MSM tells you something, if you're willing to consider that.

FOX News dominates cable due to their format and presentation. "Taking over the planet"? Please.

I don't want only one side reported or quoted. Equal time for both sides, fair and balanced.

BTW, do you find it odd that the paper would quote, in the opening sentence, an opponent to the legislation when it passed 40-1?
Anonymous said…
Cable news captures a relatively small percentage of the news viewers. FOX dominates the cable ratings, but, for example, Diane Sawyer on ABC has seven times the number of viewers that the equivalent program on FOX has. For better or worse, most of the public still gets it's "news" from traditional sources. FOX is always careful to note that they are the leader in cable news, but nowhere near the numbers of total viewership for all broadcast mediums.
Anonymous said…
Fox producers stand on stage at Tea Party rallies and actively encourage the crowd to cheer. That's neither "fair" nor "balanced." Their "format" is no better or particularly worse than the other TV networks. It's their hate speech from trogs like Glenn Beck that get them ratings.

And to suggest that reporters write stories based on how they vote in elections betrays near-complete ignorance of journalism as a profession.

"ABC, CBS, NBC, virtually all the major city newspapers and news magazines are decidedly center- left in their reportage and editorial pages."

saying it doesn't make it true. source? any kind of evidence besides your personal prejudice?
Anonymous said…
"Trogs" like Glenn Beck? What's with the hate speech against Beck? Why to you have to hate someone just because they disagree with you politically? Let it go. "All that hate's gonna burn you up, kid."
Anonymous said…
I don't hate Beck because I disagree with him politically. I hate him because he's a racist, homophobic, hatemongering brownshirt. He contributes nothing but appeals to the worst elements in American politics. Plus he lies like a rug about how many supporters show up at his rallies.

OK, sorry, back to nuclear power. but I didn't start the media-bias discussion.
Anonymous said…
It's ironic that you decry the so-called "hate" speech supposedly practiced on Fox by people like Glenn Beck, yet engage in it yourself to as great a degree if not more. There is a word for that, begins with h-y-p-o-c ...

I have often found that liberals are the most intolerant, hate-filled, angry, violent, bitter people that I have ever encountered, all the time they are laying claim to being the ones who are "tolerant" and "accepting" and "compassionate". Yet they practice the reverse.
Phil said…
And to suggest that reporters write stories based on how they vote in elections betrays near-complete ignorance of journalism as a profession.

No "near" about it.

Unless you're referring to what passes for "journalism" at Fox News or The Washington Times. In which case voting records are indeed quite indicative of what "reporting" you'll get from the editors/reporters.

Anybody who talks about the "liberal media" instantly gets tuned out by me.

Back to your regularly scheduled nuclear power advocacy blog thread.

It is unfortunate that the reporter who wrote that article added that anti-nuclear spin. The analogy of "dogs and cats" made me chuckle.
Phil said…
I have often found that liberals are the most intolerant, hate-filled, angry, violent, bitter people that I have ever encountered, all the time they are laying claim to being the ones who are "tolerant" and "accepting" and "compassionate". Yet they practice the reverse.

Please. Spare me the martyrdom.

Beck is as much of a smarmy jerk as Olberman. I hate both of them (along with Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh, etc.) because they poison public discourse.

Watch Charlie Rose on PBS instead of those clowns.
Anonymous said…
My intolerance is directed against intolerance. and in this case, against one specific person. Beck's hate speech and intolerance is directed against entire groups: other races, classes, sexual orientations.

That's the difference. Not too hard to understand.

the other Anon, on the other hand, generalizes negative stereotypes about "liberals." or as they used to say, "you people"

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.


The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.

What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot., the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.

From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…