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Re: [cdn-nucl-l] RE: [Rad_Sci_Health] Climate Change and Nuclear Energy: A View from MIT's Kerry Emanuel
The communication problem stems from the extreme
positions taken on the two sides and the implications
of those extremes.
I notice very little room nor patience for positions
in the middle of the extremes.
Here are the two extremes with regard to the climate
1. Greenpeace et al. All technology is bad. Climate
change is a dire emergency. Ban all technology except
maybe a few windmills LOL.
2. This list. Humans have zero impact on the climate.
Fossil fuel burning is not a problem and should be
unlimited. All technology is good.
What are the implications of the extreme positions?
If society goes with position no. 1, we get to enjoy
the classic freezing in the dark. If we go with
position no. 2, we'll stay with a permanent status quo
of rather unregulated coal burning. It's the
cheapest, lowest-investment thing to do. As I stated
before, there will be no *incentive* to use a cleaner,
more up-to-date technology.
It's apparent that there is no room and no patience
for a middle position that might try to mitigate some
of the impacts of fossil fuels by techniques such as
realistic technology substitution. (like nuclear
instead of coal).
At my blog, I have repeatedly criticized Al Gore for
his refusal to endorse nuclear energy. I have
repeatedly said that Al Gore is pandering to the
extreme anti-nuclear crowd.
However, I am willing to listen to what climate
scientists like Kerry Emanuel say. Kerry Emanuel
believes that huge emissions of CO2 are a problem.
In the previous email, no one acknowledged that Kerry
Emanuel was criticizing anti-nuclear extremists in
Especially in the United States, the political debate
about global climate change became polarized along the
conservative–liberal axis some decades ago. Although
we take this for granted now, it is not entirely
obvious why the chips fell the way they did. One can
easily imagine conservatives embracing the notion of
climate change in support of actions they might like
to see anyway. Conservatives have usually been strong
supporters of nuclear power, and few can be happy
about our current dependence on foreign oil. The
United States is renowned for its technological
innovation and should be at an advantage in making
money from any global sea change in energy-producing
technology: consider the prospect of selling new means
of powering vehicles and electrical generation to
China’s rapidly expanding economy. But none of this
Paradoxes abound on the political left as well. A
meaningful reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions will
require a shift in the means of producing energy, as
well as conservation measures. But such alternatives
as nuclear and wind power are viewed with deep
ambivalence by the left. Senator Kennedy, by most
measures our most liberal senator, is strongly opposed
to a project to develop wind energy near his home in
Hyannis, and environmentalists have only just begun to
rethink their visceral opposition to nuclear power.
NOTE=======>Had it not been for green opposition, the
United States today might derive most of its
electricity from nuclear power, as does France; thus
the environmentalists must accept a large measure of
responsibility for today’s most critical environmental
There are other obstacles to taking a sensible
approach to the climate problem. We have preciously
few representatives in Congress with a background or
interest in science, and some of them display an
active contempt for the subject. As long as we
continue to elect scientific illiterates like James
Inhofe, who believes global warming to be a hoax, we
will lack the ability to engage in intelligent debate.
Scientists are most effective when they provide sound,
impartial advice, but their reputation for
impartiality is severely compromised by the shocking
lack of political diversity among American academics,
who suffer from the kind of group-think that develops
in cloistered cultures. Until this profound and well
documented intellectual homogeneity changes,
scientists will be suspected of constituting a leftist
The thing that bothers me is the tendency toward
extremism on this issue.
A position in the middle like that of Dr. Kerry
Emanuel falls on deaf ears because it does not satisfy
either of the two partisan camps: the
the CO2_poses_zero_problem_for_the_climate viewpoint
--- Bill Garland <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I didn't hear anyone here advocate coal. Like
> Morgan and (everyone
> here on this list, I suspect), I advocate nuclear as
> a way to reduce
> our impact on this earth. I agree that the CC
> movement is one that
> strengthens the cause of nuclear but I cannot use CC
> as an argument
> to support nuclear unless I am convinced that CC is
> caused primarily
> by humans. As has been clearly expressed, one
> doesn't want to get
> associated with bad science. I think the current CC
> frenzy is based
> on bad science and apparently I am not alone. You
> may not agree with
> my statement that CC is based on bad science (and
> that is okay), but
> you should be able to follow the logic. What is not
> clear about
> this? I am curious why we are talking at cross
> purposes on what
> appears to me to be a simple line of discussion.
> Maybe I am using
> words that mean something else to you. If we
> techies can't
> communicate, it does not bode well for our
> communication to the rest
> of the world!
> At 04:04 PM 20/03/2007, Ruth Sponsler wrote:
> >No room for thought or consideration, I guess.
> >Obviously, my reply went right in one ear and out
> >t'other. No one heard anything I said about the
> >utility of DDT for indoor malaria control nor about
> >reading of the favorability of scientific lit. on
> >adaptive response (hormesis).
> >So, let's stick with 100-year old coal technology,
> >Gee...why am I driving a Prius and not a Modcel T?
> >I guess the French are all wrong that nuke might be
> >good technology for the climate. The Germans get
> >go to their silly extremes and ban nuclear...while
> >they promote (hypocritically) their silly 5% or
> >whatever it is of renewables...and burn
> >natural gas for the other 95%.
> >Lemme know when the IPO for the big coal proposal
> >going to be. Maybe I'll throw a hundred bucks in
> >make a hypocritical note of sorrow about 'dem coal
> >If we can just emit as much CO2 as we want into the
> >atmosphere, then,
> >GO FOR IT! GO COAL!
> >No reason to raise the up-front capital to purchase
> >the steel forgings, expensive machining, technical
> >skill, concrete and other infrastructure for nuke.
> >Why?? What's the reason to spend all that money.
> >Shoot...why not erect some illegal coal-burners
> >the Chinese are doing? Cheap as dirt...no emission
> >controls. Particulates? Bah, humbug!
> >I'll sit home and listen to my old LPs and watch
> >dusty old VHS tapes.
> >/sarcasm off
> >Meanwhile, everyone around me will be using CDs and
> >It just might be better to tell the truth about the
> >low percentages of renewables and the very REAL
> >potential of nuclear energy to cut particulate
> >pollution, coal mine deaths and even CO2.
> >left-wing Greenpeace global warming anti-nuclear
> >extremist LOL
> >--- Bill Garland <email@example.com> wrote:
> > > I think Charles has hit the nail on the head.
> > >
> > > Bill
> > >
> > > At 01:46 PM 20/03/2007, Ruth Sponsler wrote:
> > > >Thank you for an explanation of where some
> > > >stand.
> > > ><snip>
> > > >--- "Pennington, Charles"
> > > >wrote:
> > > ><snip>
> > > >
> > > >The discomfort most of us nukes feel is that we
> > > look around at the
> > > >people who are supporting the global warming
> > > hysteria and we see the
> > > >same players that fear-mongered the world on
> > > level ionizing
> > > >radiation, ALAR/pesticides, ozone holes,
> > > electro-mag radiation,
> > > >red-dye number take-your-pick, and all the rest
> > > the falling-sky
> > > >scenarios. These folks are dominated by the
> > > anti-techs. Does the
> > > >science support getting into bed with that
> group on
> > > global
> > > >warming? To date, some of us nukes say it
> > > Yes, support
> > > >for human-caused global warming may help the
> > > resurgence of nuclear
> > > >power, but, at the end of the day, nuclear
> power is
> > > a technology and
> > > >bad science is still junk. Our support could
> > > the nuclear cause
> > > >in the long run.
> > > >
> > > > > My two cents.
> > > > > <snip>
> > >
> > > Bill Garland, Executive Director of UNENE and
> > > Professor, Dept. of
> > > Engineering Physics, Bldg. NRB 117, McMaster
> > > University, Hamilton,
> > > Ontario, CANADA L8S 4L7, Tel: (905)525-9140
> > > Fax: (905)528-4339
> > > Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > > Web:<www.nuceng.ca> <http://canteach.candu.org>
> > > <www.unene.ca>
> >It's here! Your new message!
> >Get new email alerts with the free Yahoo! Toolbar.
> >cdn-nucl-l mailing list
> Bill Garland, Executive Director of UNENE and
> Professor, Dept. of
> Engineering Physics, Bldg. NRB 117, McMaster
> University, Hamilton,
> Ontario, CANADA L8S 4L7, Tel: (905)525-9140 x24925
> Fax: (905)528-4339
> Email: email@example.com
> Web:<www.nuceng.ca> <http://canteach.candu.org>
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