Energy Probe's quote of me in the National Post (March 20th) was as follows:
Tom Adams, National Post, 2002 March 20:
"Once the nuclear industry promised electricity too cheap to meter. Now the industry cares little what its power costs to consumers, an attitude that goes some way to explain its failure. AECL scientist Jeremy Whitlock, the industry's unofficial voice through his on-line nuclear presence and comments in the press, minces no words in presenting his industry's perspective. When asked whether he and his nuclear colleagues thought nuclear-generated power was cheap, he replied: 'I submit to you that this is an irrelevant question, and if you think that any of us suppose otherwise, you have simply not done your homework.' Instead of cost, Mr. Whitlock prefers to measure value through complicated desk studies that attempt to value the 'life cycle factors of the technology.' "
This attempt to turn my comments into an example of the nuclear industry caring "little what it's power costs to consumers" was a direct mis-use of my statement, which was in fact a clear expression of the importance of the total socio-economic cost of any energy-generating technology:
Jeremy Whitlock, cdn-nucl-l listserver, 2002 January 18:
"If you think that people who work in nuclear fields are concerned only with the technology and not its broader implications, then I suggest that you haven't the slightest idea who you're dealing with, and I encourage you to get to know us better.
"You challenge 'us' to ask ourselves if nuclear power is cheap. I submit to you that this is an irrelevant question, and if you think that any of us suppose otherwise, you have simply not done your homework. The relevant question is: 'Is nuclear power a net beneficial energy option, all direct and indirect lifecycle factors of the technology taken into account, and in comparison with potential alternatives?'. You would probably do well to apply this same question to the fossil fuel energy sources that Energy Probe espouses."
It is a bald-faced lie to state that my words "were accurately transcribed and quoted in sufficient length that [my] meaning was accurately shared with the reader."
Either through misunderstanding or malice, Energy Probe misrepresented by comments in the national media, with the potential and possibly intended effect (since my full name and employer was published) of besmirching my reputation and/or my relationship with my employer.
That's libel, Tom. I don't want to line a lawyer's pocket. I want an apology.
OUTSTANDING ISSUES AWAITING EP RESPONSE:
1. Apology for libel in Nat Post Op-Ed (2002-03-20)
2. EP's stand on the environmental and safety review required of the Sithe gas plants (2002-02-07)
3. Evidence of EP's superior electricity-usage forecasting skills to that of OPG. (2002-02-05)
4. EP's stand on research reactors and other non-power nuclear technology. (2002-02-04)
5. References for EP's allegations about India's source of weapons tritium.(2002-02-04)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom Adams [mailto:TomAdams@nextcity.com]
> Sent: Thursday April 25, 2002 11:23 AM
> To: CNS listserv
> Subject: [cdn-nucl-l] T. Adams replies to Dr. Whitlock's accusation of
> AECL's Jeremy Whitlock has accused me of libel (0203.gz/msg00085) for
> repeating statements of he made on this listserv in a
> column I wrote for the National Post March 20th. In that article,
> Jeremy's statements were accurately transcribed and quoted in
> sufficient length that his meaning was accurately shared with the
> Jeremy has demanded an apology. I decline that opportunity and instead
> plead a defense of justification.
> Jeremy's reaction to my quoting him is reminiscent of Jeff Skilling,
> former CEO of Enron, in his reaction to Bethany McLean, a
> journalist writing for Futune Magazine. In her 2001 December
> 24 article,
> she starts by quoting Skilling:
> "'Our business is not a black box. It's very simple to model.
> People who raise questions are people who have not
> gone through it in detail. We have explicit answers, but people
> want to throw rocks at us'
> So said Enron's then CEO, Jeff Skilling, in an interview
> I had with
> him last February. At the time--less than 10
> months ago -- Enron's market capitalization was around
> $60 billion,
> just a shade below its all-time high, and its
> status as a Wall Street darling had not yet begun to
> crumble. I was
> working on a story that would ultimately raise
> questions about Enron's valuation, and I'd called with what I
> considered fairly standard queries in an effort to
> understand its nearly incomprehensible financial statements. The
> response from Enron was anything but standard.
> Skilling quickly became frustrated, said the line of questioning
> was "unethical" and hung up the phone."
> Jeremy has previously suggested legal action against me
> (0201gz.msg00106) in response to my discussion of AECL's lack of
> financial disclosure (eg. AECL is not in compliance with the Canadian
> Financial Administration Act) and its historic practice of
> funding sales agents involved in corruption of foreign officials.
> Readers may be interested to note that both legal threats have
> proven empty as of the date of this posting.
> Tom Adams, Energy Probe
> cdn-nucl-l mailing list