Thursday, January 26, 2012

Don't Kill Whales, but people are OK?

Yesterday in downtown Saint Louis a discussion was held between proponents and opponents of nuclear energy. The discussion was labeled "free-wheeling, generally civil" by Jo Mannies, political reporter for the St. Louis Beacon.

Former Governor Bob Holden moderated the forum which featured speakers:

Russell Hopper, director of the Missouri Alternative and Renewable Energy Center at Crowder College and Patrick Moore, an early member of Greenpeace and now co-chair of pro-nuclear group, Clean and Safe Energy Coalition.

I found an interview comment made by Patrick Moore only slightly amusing when he said, "I still oppose killing whales" but went on to admit he was wrong to oppose nuclear power as an alternative energy source.

I guess when you find yourself on the opposite side of an issue it becomes harder and harder to see what makes the other side believe the way they do. We have access to most of the same data, we see the same horrors happen before our very eyes, yet individually we have filters in place that sort and clean up facts in a way we find acceptable to ourselves.

The argument that I keep hearing over and over again for the use of nuclear power is the same: Nuclear power is CLEAN, ABUNDANT AND AFFORDABLE. But when I factor in the costs of nuclear power that are important to me, my calculator doesn't come up with the same answer. Risking human life for generations to come is never AFFORDABLE in my book.

Another argument given by the proponents of nuclear energy is as Moore said, "in the short term and with current research, solar and wind power cannot come close to producing the large amounts of energy that the nation and the world need."

Perhaps SHORT TERM goals are a little SHORT-SIGHTED. Many more money should be directed to seeking long term safer solutions to our energy problems, even if it means in the short term we will need to tighten our energy belts just a little.

Moore also feels the problems associated with storing nuclear waste are "overblown" and he feels that much of the nuclear waste being produced can be reused in nuclear plants to produce thousands of years more of energy. Hmm. Mr. Moore, do you mind if I get a second opinion on that?

So even when I try to listen to the arguments of the other side, that filter of mine comes in to play and what I hear sets off a little alarm inside of me. Oh, wait, maybe that's just my conscience at work - "I still oppose killing humans"...

Here is the link to St. Louis  Beacon article by Jo Mannies

1 comment:

  1. You're right. It's insane. How can they call nuclear power "clean" when it can make hundreds of miles of land uninhabitable for generations? Clean?

    Is that why we have no clue what to do with nuclear waste? Because it's so "clean"?