Critics Blast Climate Scientists Going To Bat for Nuclear Power
Amidst the ongoing Fukushima disaster in Japan and the broader failure of nuclear power, a call by some scientists and others for environmentalists and green groups to embrace the energy source in the name of fighting climate change is being met with a firm rebuke.
Ahead of CNN’s airing this week of what critics have described as a misleading and propaganda-laced pro-nuclear film called “Pandora’s Promise,” four climate scientists on Sunday released a letter of their own calling on “those influencing environmental policy but opposed to nuclear power” to change their position.
Though unaffiliated with the controversial film, the pro-nuke letter was signed by James Hansen, a former top NASA scientist; Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Institution; Kerry Emanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Tom Wigley, of the University of Adelaide in Australia. In the letter, the scientists ask individuals and groups concerned about global warming and climate change to demonstrate their commitment to the threat “by calling for the development and deployment of advanced nuclear energy.”
Unconvinced, however, many environmentalists voiced deep concerns about the pro-nuclear pitch and responded with derision, if not disgust.
“These guys need to go to Fukushima,” said long-time anti-nuclear activist Harvey Wasserman in an email to Common Dreams on Sunday. “It’s astonishing anyone could advocate MORE nukes while there are 1331 hot fuel rods 100 feet in the air over Unit Four, three melted cores at points unknown, millions of gallons of contaminated water pouring into the oceans, and so much more.”
“It’s astonishing anyone could advocate MORE nukes while there are 1331 hot fuel rods 100 feet in the air over Unit Four, three melted cores at points unknown, millions of gallons of contaminated water pouring into the oceans, and so much more.” –Harvey Wasserman
Wasserman, editor of www.nukefree.org and author of Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, has recently been sounding the alarm over the perilous situation that remains ongoing at the crippled Fukushima plant in Japan and argues that nuclear should not be part of any future energy equation. Invoking the dangers of carbon-driven global warming does nothing to change the inherent dangers of nuclear power, he indicated.
“Atomic energy is the most expensive and lethal technological failure in human history. It makes global warming worse with CO2 emissions in the mining, milling and disposal process,” Wasserman said. “And the billions it costs us in construction, decommissioning and disaster recovery slow the conversion to a renewable-based economy, which is the only way to combat climate change.”
And as the New York Times’ Andy Revkin supposes, renewable energy experts like “Amory Lovins, Joe Romm and Mark Jacobson” would likely agree with Wasserman and push back against claims that nuclear is a viable or necessary option.
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