Thanks to Jim Penna for spreading the word that Gordon Edwards’ entire January 2008 talk Nuclear Power – Hope or Hoax?, delivered at the University of Alberta (Edmonton), is now available online from Rainbow Bridge TV in 9 episodes.
The notion that nukes make sense and are the version of green preferred by grown-ups is being conjured by a slick PR campaign. The Nuclear Energy Institute–the industry’s main trade group–has retained Hill and Knowlton to run a greenwashing campaign.
Part of their strategy involves an advocacy group with the grassroots-sounding name the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition. At the center of the effort are former EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman and former Greenpeace co-founder turned corporate shill Patrick Moore. (Moore is also a huge champion of GMO crops, which are notorious for impoverishing farmers in developing economies and using massive amounts of pesticides.) The industry also places ghostwritten op-eds under the bylines of scientists for hire.
All the major environmental groups oppose nuclear power. But the campaign is having some impact at the grassroots: the online environmental journal Grist found that 54 percent of its readers are ready to give atomic energy a second look; 59 percent of Treehugger.com readers feel the same way. In other words, people who understand climate change are feeling downright desperate.
But even the Oz-like magic of corporate spin, public subsidies and presidential speechifying have their limits. In late December the man whose name is synonymous with sound money turned his back on nuclear power.
Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Nuclear Energy Company scrapped plans to build a plant in Payette, Idaho, because no matter how many times its managers ran the numbers (and they spent $13 million researching it), they found that it simply made no sense from an economic standpoint.