In a sign of the desperation seizing the environmental lobbies now that Kyoto is being questioned or even thrown by the wayside by some of the signatories, several groups are now lobbying against nuclear power. They see the coming dissolution of all the plans and organizations they’ve put together in the intervening years: the grants, the jobs, the public speaking engagements, the press, the notoriety, and the subsidies — all for things that do not work.
As the direction of the US shifts to nuclear power, these groups and their like will continue to put barriers in front of Nuclear power since they cannot hope to compete on a level field. It doesn’t take ten years to build a nuclear plant, China is building two per year all the way through 2025. It’s the regulations and permit process created by these public policy front groups that cripple our abilities to build plants, not construction, not actual safety.
For twenty years we’ve invested enormous amounts of capital into “alternative energy research” and it now provides 2.7 percent of our needs, most notably in the form of ethanol, which produces greenhouse gases. All that while our old-style, “unsafe” nuclear reactors have provided about 20% of America’s energy needs while maintaining a remarkable safety record without producing any of the dreaded greenhouse gases. (Stats courtesy of a NEI nuclear notesÂ article on this same survey)
These issues are all coming to a critical juncture now that the American Public is waking to the fact that we are at the mercy of dictators, communist thugs, and folks who aren’t our allies for a lot of our power needs. The strategic implications of supporting islamo-fascism and communism by purchasing energy resources from tyrants is exceedingly clear to everyone. We cannot continue to make those policy mis-steps, and that is why it was a defining moment for the future of the world when President Bush put nuclear power back on the table as a viable option at the dawn of his administration.
If you question that, look at the postion most of Europe is in — they find it necessary to Kow-Tow to the mideast, and the governments of those countries clearly cannot afford to offend any of the tyrants sitting on most of the world’s oil resources. BrazilÂ sees the danger of being dependent on neighbors like Hugo Chavez, and they are clearly going full nuclear energy to ensure their future, and I wish them both great success and great prosperity as they follow the clear path to the future.
When it comes to clean air and a clean environment the existing alternative energy plans cannot compete with nuclear, they all fail in comparison of reliability, feasibility, or cleanliness. The biggest source produces dangerous benzene compounds, which are known carcinogens.
An exampleÂ ofÂ entrenched environmental lobbies rallying against Nuclear powerÂ is the recent survey done by the Civil Society Institute. This “institute” in Boston is remarbly anonymous, and seems designed to be a pseudo-think-tank front to create desired polls and seemingly authoritative opinion hit-pieces. Visit the home page, see if you can figure out who funds this group, who their board is from their “about” page. Yes, I know I am anonymous as well, but if you can’t figure out where I stand, and that I am an individual from my “about” then you are not reading well.
Their biggest concern is that they know that most of the problems with nuclear power have been overcome with new pebble bed design and they cannot compete. They seek to keep the funds coming, the plans for resdistribution of carbon credits going, even though all of this will be moot if the world goes even fifty percent nuclear energy over the next thirty to fifty years.
Here’s an example of why you should treat this poll with extreme skepticism, note how the question is setup:
Some experts say that more nuclear power in the United States is unrealistic, and that â€œtalking upâ€ nuclear power as a solution to U.S. energy needs is intended to discourage public and private investment in solar, wind and other less expensive and more rapidly delivered energy solutions. How concerned would you be if nuclear power was focused on at the expense of renewable, clean and safe alternative energy solutions? Would you beâ€¦
UPDATE: NEI Nuclear notes has some good sleuths on staff, it turns out that CSI is headed by a prominent anti-nuclear activist.
These are vested interests at work using a false-front public policy institute to further their cause. The next stepÂ will be demonstrations once the new plants in the US start construction, and you will see the usual street-theater which will culminate in the theÂ “black block” protestors marching with masks and trying to interupt construction. WhenÂ the protestsÂ come to North Carolina as Duke and GE start building the plants for our children’s future, recognize it for what it is. Do not let the environmental policy wonks keep our energy policy in the deep-freeze another thirty years, there isn’t anyway we can afford that stasis anymore.
Alongside this growing problem there is the constant question of the Black Bloc. Its difficult to even define what the Black Bloc is, let alone to decide what part it could play in the summit protests. It may have started out as a purely anarchist grouping (though one which many anarchists avoid) but it’s not a permanent grouping, it’s just something that comes together at protests. Being in the Black Bloc just means being willing to break the law, destroy property, or fight with the police to achieve the aims of the protest. As such, many non-anarchists will happily join the block, to the extent that one of the Black Blocs in Genoa contained a group of Maoists.