[Date Prev][Date Next]
[cdn-nucl-l] Fw: EFN - James LOVELOCK's introduction to the book "Environmentalists For Nuclear Energy"
Recently received from Bruno Comby,
----- Original Message -----
From: "EFN" <EFN@ecolo.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2000 1:37 PM
Subject: EFN - James LOVELOCK's introduction to the book "Environmentalists
For Nuclear Energy"
> Dear friends of clean nuclear energy,
> We have very good news for you today : you probably have heard already
> James LOVELOCK through the TV and media.
> He is one of the (if not THE) most famous environmentalist in the world.
> We exchanged some correspondance with James Lovelock over the last few
> and informed him in detail about the work of EFN, and he has now joyfully
> accepted to join EFN, and to write a preface to my book "Environmentalists
> Nuclear Energy" (a bestseller in France, english edition in print).
> The text of this preface is communicated below. We will let you know, in a
> weeks, when the printed edition of the book will be available. It will be
> possible to order it via the internet.
> Given the mythical, symbolical and historical importance of LOVELOCK's
> the development of the environmental consciousness around the world since
> 1960's, his support to our work is, in my opinion, a very important step
> Even before James Lovelock's preface and support, EFN has been growing
> as an increasing number of people and environmentalists all around the
> understand the need and the importance of clean nuclear energy to protect
> James LOVELOCK has always been in favor of clean nuclear energy, but he
> accepts to say so publicly, and to support EFN, and I think that this is
> symbol of, and that it will contribute to, a major shift which is starting
> happen in the attitude of environmental movements towards nuclear energy.
> The greatest, the n°1 environmentalist on the planet now does not hesitate
> openly in favor of clean civil nuclear energy !
> For those who aren't too familiar yet with Lovelock's books, we would
> reading "Gaia, a new look at life on earth" or "The Gaia theory" or "The
> With best regards,
> Bruno Comby
> President of ENVIRONMENTALISTS FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY (EFN)
> Preface for the English edition
> of Bruno Comby's book :
> "ENVIRONMENTALISTS FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY"
> (in print)
> by James LOVELOCK
> Short summary of Lovelock's biography : independent environmentalist,
> scientific researcher, Doctor Honoris Causa of several universities
> the world, he is considered since several decades as a founder of the
> environmental movement in the 1960's ; he is one of the main ideological
> leaders, if not the main one, in the history of the development of
> awareness. James Lovelock is still today one of the main authors in the
> environmental field. He is the author of " The GaiaTheory ", and " The
> Gaia ", which consider the planet Earth as a self-regulated living being.
> I spent my childhood in the English countryside over 70 years ago where we
> a simple life without telephones or electricity. Horses were still a
> source of power and we hardly imagined radio and television. One thing I
> remember well was how superstitious we all were and how tangible was the
> of evil. Men and women who in other ways were intelligent, fearfully
> places said to be haunted, and they would suffer inconvenience rather than
> travel on Fridays that were the 13th day of the month. Their irrational
> fed on ignorance and were quite common. I cannot help thinking that they
> persist, but now these fears are about the products of science. This is
> particularly true of nuclear power plants that seem to stir the dread that
> the past was felt about a moonlit graveyard thought to be infested with
> werewolves and vampires.
> The fear of nuclear energy is understandable through its association in
> with the horrors of nuclear warfare, but it is unjustified; nuclear power
> are not bombs. What at first was a proper concern for safety has become a
> pathological anxiety and much of the blame for this goes to the news
> television and film industries, and fiction writers. All these have used
> fear of things nuclear as a reliable prop to sell their wares. They, and
> political disinformers who sought to discredit the nuclear industry as
> enemies, have been so successful at frightening the public that it is now
> impossible in many nations to propose a new nuclear power plant.
> No source of power is entirely safe, even windmills are not free of fatal
> accidents, and Bruno Comby's fine book gives a true and balanced account
> great benefits and small risks of nuclear power. I wholeheartedly agree
> and I want to put it to you that the dangers of continuing to burn fossil
> (oil, gas, coal) as our main energy source are far greater and they
> just individuals but civilization itself. Much of the first world behaves
> an addicted smoker: we are so used to burning fossil fuels for our needs
> ignore their insidious long-term dangers.
> Polluting the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases
> immediate consequences, but continued pollution leads to climate changes
> effects are only apparent when it is almost too late for a cure. Carbon
> poisons the environment just as salt can poison us. No harm comes from a
> intake, but a daily diet with too much salt can cause a lethal quantity to
> accumulate in the body.
> We need to distinguish between things that are directly harmful to people,
> things that harm indirectly by damaging our habitat the Earth.
> Bubonic plague in the Middle Ages was directly harmful, caused immense
> agony and killed thirty percent of Europeans, but it was a small threat to
> civilization and of no consequence for the Earth itself. The burning of
> fuels and the conversion of natural ecosystems to farmland cause no
> harm to people but slowly impair the Earth's capacity to self-regulate and
> sustain, as it has always done, a planet fit for life. Although nothing
> will destroy life on Earth, we could change the environment to a point
> civilization is threatened.
> Sometime in this or the next century we may see this happen because of
> change and a rise in the level of the sea. If we go on burning fossil fuel
> the present rate, or at an increasing rate, it is probable that all of the
> cities of the world now at sea level will beflooded. Try to imagine the
> consequences of hundreds of millions of homeless refugees seeking dry land
> which to live. In the turmoil, they may look back and wonder how humans
> have been so foolish as to bring so much misery upon themselves by the
> thoughtless burning of carbon fuels. They may then reflect regretfully
> could have avoided their miseries by the safe benefice of nuclear energy.
> Nuclear power, although potentially harmful to people, is a negligible
> the planet. Natural ecosystems can stand levels of continuous radiation
> would be intolerable in a city. The land around the failed Chernobyl power
> station was evacuated because its high radiation intensity made it unsafe
> people, but this radioactive land is now rich in wildlife, much more so
> neighboring populated areas. We call the ash from nuclear power nuclear
> and worry about its safe disposal. I wonder if instead we should use it an
> incorruptible guardian of the beautiful places of the Earth. Who would
> down a forest in which was the storage place of nuclear ash?
> Such is the extent of nuclear anxiety that even scientists seem to forget
> planet's radioactive history. It seems almost certain that a supernova
> occurred close in time and space to the origin of our solar system.
> A supernova is the explosion of a large star. Astrophysicists speculate
> this fate may overtake stars more than three times as large as the Sun. As
> star burns - by fusion - its store of hydrogen and helium, the ashes of
> accumulate at the centre, in the form of heavier elements like silicon and
> If this core of dead elements, which are no longer able to generate heat
> pressure, should much exceed the mass of our own sun then the inexorable
> of its own weight will cause its collapse in a matter of seconds to a body
> larger than 18 miles (30 kilometers) in diameter but still as heavy as a
> We have here, in the death throes of a large star, all the ingredients for
> vast nuclear explosion. A supernovae, at its peak, produces stupendous
> of heat, light and hard radiations, about as much as the total produced by
> the other stars in the same galaxy.
> Explosions are never one hundred percent efficient. When a star ends as a
> supernova, the nuclear explosive material, which includes uranium and
> together with large amounts of iron and other burnt-out elements, scatters
> space, as does the dust cloud of a hydrogen bomb test.
> Perhaps the strangest thing about the Earth is that it formed from lumps
> fall-out from a star-sized nuclear bomb. This is why even today there is
> enough uranium left in the Earth's crust to reconstitute on a minute scale
> original event.
> There is no other credible explanation of the great quantity of unstable
> elements still present. The most primitive and old-fashioned Geiger
> indicate that we stand on the fall-out of a vast ancient nuclear
> Within our bodies, about one million atoms, rendered unstable in that
> still erupt every minute, releasing a tiny fraction of the energy stored
> that fierce fire of long ago.
> Life began nearly four billion years ago under conditions of radioactivity
> more intense than those that trouble the minds of certain present-day
> environmentalists. Moreover, there was neither oxygen nor ozone in the air
> that the fierce unfiltered ultra-violet radiation of the sun irradiated
> surface of the Earth. We need to keep in mind the thought that these
> energies flooded the very womb of life.
> I hope that it is not too late for the world to emulate France and make
> power our principal source of energy. There is at present no other safe,
> practical and economic substitute for the dangerous practice of burning
> James LOVELOCK.