Who is WE? WE is Anti-Nuclear Activists and Energy Stasists
In the series of articles titled “Gore Lied, Peopled Died” and others on global warming here I outlined and demonstrated how Kyoto and other global warming initiatives create energy and food poverty worldwide which leads to starvation, high infant mortality, poor sanitation, increased prevalence of disease, hunger, and limited futures for the world’s middle-class and poor. All of that’s easily demonstrable with UN data and newspapers showing past and current food and fuel crunches. Now it’s time to dig into who the people in Al Gore’s Global Warming group really are — a surprising mix of strange bedfellows.
My brand of high-energy environmentalism runs counter to consensus on both sides, and it gores everyone’s political Ox as we will see when we delve into who “WE” is.
What Al Gore and Company are About.
The name of the group is “We“, and it’s purpose is to limit the world’s energy future in a neoluddic charge to stop most energy, and where they cannot stop it they will make it so expensive that people will starve and airlines will struggle to stay in business. From looking at who is leading the initiative and who sits on the advisory board, you can get an idea of the group’s general political tilt as well as their unspoken priorities.
Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up. Steven Smith is Executive Director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. As you can see from his capsule bio at SACE, he’s a long time nuclear energy opponent:
Stephen A. Smith, DVM, has been executive director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy since 1993 and has actively worked with numerous non-profit organizations addressing energy, water, forest, air, nuclear weapons production and nuclear waste issues since 1982. Dr. Smith received a doctorate in veterinarian medicine from the University of Tennessee (1992) and a bachelor’s of science in biology from Kentucky Wesleyan College (1988). In 2000, Dr. Smith’s environmental passions led him to set aside his veterinary practice to devote himself fulltime to Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
You also see that he’s with allied with the Carter Appointed ex-head of TVA, S. David Freeman , who was instrumental in shutting down the prior TVA nuclear energy initiative 20 years ago. He also contributed to the rolling brown-outs and black-outs in California through opposition to reopening Rancho Seco Nuclear reactor and pimping conservation only at SMUD. Rancho Seco is now a public park instead of a source of energy.
Through both of their efforts coal usage in this country has increased over the past 30 years due to the new-energy stasis they’ve helped create. Due to prohibitive regulations on nuclear, Coal gains even though they actively oppose it. At the time of those shutdowns everyone celebrated, but with the price of oil and the energy crunch we are in they now both seem patently stupid so it’s no wonder Carter-appointee Freeman is jumping in to defend his legacy by repeating past mistakes.
Freeman is also head of the Hyrdrogen car company, which has been featured in articles here before, and is also involved with the California Hydrogen Highway initiative endorsed by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Note to Arnold & David: You still need to get the energy to make the Hydrogen from somewhere, even if the tech breakthroughs needed for Hydrogen Car mainstreaming actually happen. I’m sorry if that offends your liberal mythos or neoluddic sensibilities, it’s just an inconvient truth.
You can see the last century energy stasists fighting over the future or Nuclear energy at TVA here, with the usual suspects in opposition, including WE advisor, Steven Smith and SACE.
Think that’s just a coincidence at SACE? Scroll down one entry and you find this:
Abhaya ThieleAbhaya Thiele – Florida Federal Organizer
Abhaya joined the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy in December of 2007 to work specifically in northern Florida and is based in the Gainesville area where she will work in conjunction with both traditional and non-traditional allies to increase the visibility of clean energy issues and to build support for federal climate protection legislation.
Her background most recently was as an organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia with the People’s Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) working to support renewable energy legislation in Virginia and to increase grassroots opposition to two new nuclear reactors being proposed for the state.
Prior to that, Abhaya worked at Greenpeaceon dioxin-related issues (working to close the WTI incinerator and to bring public awareness to the toxics involved in the production of PVC). She also participated in the delegation that the Physicians for Social Responsibility sent to Stockholm, Sweden for the United Nations Persistent Organic Pollutants Treaty and she worked in conjunction with the Center for Health Environment and Justice to oppose the siting of new solid waste incinerators.
Before moving to Florida, Abhaya lived in an ecumenical yoga community, which has as its center the LOTUS temple, dedicated to the unity underlying all faiths. She was assistant editor of its publications department and also organized holistic health retreats.
And a bit below that at SACE we have:
Liz Veazey – Regional Campus Coordinator
Liz came on staff in the spring of 2006 and is based in the Knoxville office. She coordinates the Southern Energy Network, a project of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy that is a regional, campus-focused energy and global warming program. The project is part of the national Campus Climate Challenge campaign…
So far we have opposition to nuclear energy, coal energy, and burning rubbish. Burning coal and rubbish doesn’t seem palatable for many reasons outlined in past articles here, but lumping nuclear in with them is a forrmula for energy stasism and decline not just in the US, but across the world – where right now children are going to bed hungry due to energy gridlock the past thirty years.
This is just the tip of the neoluddic iceberg of energy stasism at WE. ( Neoluddic is a new word I’ve coined that conflates neolithic and neoluddite – symbolic of the antique back-to-nature energy sources they think we must use and the mystic hope that these will be enough when it’s highly evident they aren’t from literal centuries of solar and wind use.)
Back in the sixties their slogan was “Split wood not atoms” — since then the pollution of burning wood has become highly publicized, and they don’t put that forth anymore. The slogan really tells you were they originated. There’s something atavisitc in them if they wish to use the earliest forms of energy over the ones that will be sold by next century’s energy moguls; this happens regardless of what they do to impede energy in the US.
Along with the sixties leftovers from the anti-war/anti-nuclear weapons and energy front from Greenpeace you also have a lot of other strange bedfellows in WE. These bedfellows are even stranger than the Republicans riding the coatails of the new horsemen of the Stagpocalypse in Television commercials.
You’ll see everyone from coal lobbyists to biodiesel pimps to oil execs aligned with this group, but I don’t want to steal all the lightning from posts to come, please stay tuned.
Where I am coming from, or an overview of where I stand on these issues:
I favor a high energy future for the world, but it must be as clean as reasonably possible. Worst case – I’ll still take dirty or semi-dirty power over entropy and chaos for the US econonomy, our environment, and world’s poor. I favor all forms of energy since we will need everything we’ve got in coming years to feed and care for the 9 billion souls who will be inhabiting the planet by 2050. Each energy application, even those I will be slamming in some of these posts have their niches.
The greatest danger to the world’s future and yours is low energy and stasis, not rising tides or temperatures. I like clean power the best, but even the dirtiest sources create more benefit than peril, and energy is beneficial to humans as well as the environment. The dirtiest source of power, coal, still powers enough sewage treatment, water purification, refrigeration, sterilization, and industrial cleaning process to offset the pollution introduced to the environment.
More coal energy in Africa would equate to millions and millions of daily cooking fires going out across the continent forever, and the biomass burning of those millions of cookfires has been around since neolithic times. It’s notoriously poisonous and deleterious to air quality.
That said, coal is also dirty, and between forty to fifty thousand people worldwide die annually from mining it as a power source. Replacing coal with something cleaner and safer is an admirable, noble, goal. Shutting it off without a reasonable cost alternative is an ignoble cruel path to death and environmental degradation. Clean, cheap, abundant energy is our best path to solving many woes in this world.
5 thoughts on “Who is WE? WE is Anti-Nuclear Activists and Energy Stasists”
I am looking forward to reading more of these posts to determine who is really behind the effort to discourage coal and nuclear power – which together have a 70% share of the US electrical power market.
I have a more cynical view of human nature than you – just because someone says that they are opposed to coal because they think it is dirty does not mean that the real reason might be that they really prefer natural gas because that is the product that their employer has to sell.
In other words, just remember that opposition to one form of energy is really just marketing FOR another form.
Editor, Atomic Insights
Thanks for stopping by Rod, and I agree that the infighting for subsidies and licenses between differing energy lobbies is part of the political gridlock keeping us in stasis. The sniping back and forth between them is continuous; however my point is that we are certainly going to need them all.
The energy moguls of the far future will be selling nuclear power, but the nearer term is going to be mixed with the world throwing everything we have at the problem. If the US staggers and flags on that path we will end up a backwater.
I am not talking about fighting over subsidies – that is a distraction. I am referring to battles over market share – that is where the real money is.
The currently operating nuclear plants in the world produce the energy equivalent of 12 million barrels of oil per day. Just think about the difference in the profitability of coal, oil and gas if the trend of the 1970s had continued without opposition. Suppose they had captured twice or three times as much of the energy market. Do you think that we would be burning 87 million barrels of oil per day at $130 per barrel?
Right, subsidies are not the whole picture, so I should have stated that better. Again my point is that today’s “market share” picture won’t matter in five years. Current world demand runs 12-15 Petwatt hours depending on who you ask, that’s projected to quadrupal in the next 42 years. (more than that if you factor in hydrogen or electric vehicles 60 — 70 petawatt hours needed by 2050 unless there’s massive calamity in the interim)
There are energy companies still running ice truck routes while refridgerators are being manufactured everywhere, their shareholders need to start asking questions about the wisdom of their strategy.
Also note that I’m looking at worldwide energy demand while you are more focused on North America and US. We are seeing the first wave of this century’s energy boom, and there’s lots of money to be made by all forms of energy — I don’t want the US Companies to be the last choice in technology suppliers in that coming market. If we fail to invest in all forms of energy we are going to fall further in world economies, and I’m not talking about government when I say invest.
The whole point is to kill the ‘capitalist economy’ the fact that the socialist (chinese) economy is much dirtier than anything in the west does not matter to the econ’nuts.
Al Gore and other Democrats really want gas to hit at least 5$ a gal. thus everything they do to slow drilling, coal, atomic energy etc. They are for wind and solar and not much else. Some have said that it takes more energy to build and transport a wind turbine than you get from using the thing, and no one would be building them if there wasn’t a tax credit for it.
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