Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Environmental Rhetoric Gone Awry?

Radley Balko links to this hilarious story:

Before President Bush touched down in Pennsylvania Wednesday to promote his nuclear energy policy, the environmental group Greenpeace was mobilizing.

“This volatile and dangerous source of energy” is no answer to the country’s energy needs, shouted a Greenpeace fact sheet decrying the “threat” posed by the Limerick reactors Bush visited.

But a factoid or two later, the Greenpeace authors were stumped while searching for the ideal menacing metaphor.

We present it here exactly as it was written, capital letters and all: “In the twenty years since the Chernobyl tragedy, the world’s worst nuclear accident, there have been nearly [FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE].”…

The aghast Greenpeace spokesman who issued the memo, Steve Smith, said a colleague was making a joke by inserting the language in a draft that was then mistakenly released.

Brilliant!

Comments

  1. #1 Raging Bee
    May 31, 2006

    Wow, that’s even wackier than “cdesign proponentsists.”

    Honesty is the best policy. And when it’s not intended, it’s the funniest as well.

  2. #2 atari24
    May 31, 2006

    Does Greenpeace not realize how much pollution would be eliminated by using only nuclear energy? How many nuclear workers have died compared to how many coal miners have died in the past year alone?

  3. #3 Roman Werpachowski
    May 31, 2006

    At least Greenpeace is just this time honest about its policy on nuclear energy.

  4. #4 VisualFX
    May 31, 2006

    Greenpeace is, unfortunately, as illogical and irrational on the left as the religious right is on the right. In many ways, it is the same fanatical attitudes.

    I am one who believes that quite possibly the two most important things we can do for long-term viability is to transform our energy economy into one that relies on 0% fossil fuels.

    Nuclear fission, while far from perfect, could be a very important stopgap towards that goal until we can perfect and implement a true hydrogen based economy that does not rely on hydrocarbons or carbohydrates as a source of that hydrogen. In the long run, nuclear fusion reactors with hydrogen/deterium/tritium coming from sea water providing the core of our energy needs.

    The bottom line is:
    • We are potentially dramatically altering our planet’s atmosphere and biosphere by burning the massive quantities of fossil fuels.
    • We are fueling this religious/political war between us (the USA) and the world of Islam with our hunger for fossil fuels.

    Both of these highly destructive endeavours can be ended by doing what needs to be done to make this transition. It should be THE top priority for us as a nation if not a world. it should be thought of as the top investment priority we have to ensure our long-term viability.

    Unfortunately (to get back on point), Greenpeace just does not get it. Groups like Greenpeace are not helping at all. What a waste of what could and should be a strong voice in this issue.

  5. #5 Ocellated
    May 31, 2006

    I’m no particular fan of Greenpeace, and nuclear energy does have it’s attractive qualities, but I think the one big unanswered question is where to store all the spent fuel long term. I’m not saying that means we shouldn’t use nuclear energy, or that storing the spent fuels is unsurmountable, but nobody (like Nevada) wants it in their neck of the woods.

  6. #6 mn
    May 31, 2006

    Um, not to nitpick, but there ins’t any tritum in seawater. You either need to mine helium 3 from the moon or use a rather nasty and dirty nuclear reactor to split lithium. Nuclear fusion reactors are 50 years away, and always will be. =)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium

    Burning coal causes Carbon Dioxide (and monoxide and sulfur oxides…) problems. Nuclear reactors cause nuclear weapons proliferation problems. (reference, see Iran). CO2 can be scrubbed from the sky. Fallout, not so much.

    Solar is the only way to go. Wind, wave, biomass… All of these are solar power. The fuel falls for free from the sky, and won’t run out for 5 billion years.

    You gotta watch out for that solar power. You don’t want the solar tanker to overturn and spread sunshine all over the coastline. =)

    I agree with VisualFX and the rest of the thread that Greenpeace is the “Religious Right” of the left and that something has to be done NOW with respect to the hydrocarbon problem. I just have trouble feeling comfortable with a world in which every country on earth has enough nuclear reactors to power itself. Ask youself, can you really see Myanmar or North Korea operating 100 nuke plants without safety or proliferation problems? Just thinking about it makes a world with a solar panel on every roof seem at lot more likely. And safe.

  7. #7 Roman Werpachowski
    May 31, 2006

    I’m not saying that means we shouldn’t use nuclear energy, or that storing the spent fuels is unsurmountable, but nobody (like Nevada) wants it in their neck of the woods.

    1. There are plenty poorer places of the world which will agree to host spent fuel storage facilities… for a price, of course.
    2. I personally would agree to have such facility near my home. There are worse (less controllable) things being stored around us (like sulphur from industry chimney filters).

  8. #8 Sosiosh
    May 31, 2006

    I just got spimmed (IM spammed) with the following, leading me to wonder just how Greenpeace gets its funding:

    whats up…23.f bored so i set up my webcam thingy lets chat or meet up i’m waiting for you :)
    goto my page http://live-web-chat.com
    $(RANDCHARS)

  9. #9 Ebonmuse
    June 1, 2006

    Personally, it’s Greenpeace’s rigid and, if I say so myself, irrational opposition to genetically modified food that I find sillier. We should certainly protect the natural world; we shouldn’t fetishize it. On the other hand, though nuclear energy doesn’t produce global warming or acid rain, it has a lot of very real dangers of its own (terrorism not least among them).

    There are worse (less controllable) things being stored around us (like sulphur from industry chimney filters).

    Sulfur is less controllable than radioactive waste? I very strongly doubt that. At least sulfur can be contained, but radioactivity leaks. You need at least a few solid feet of something dense between nuclear waste and you before you could feel safe… and even then, the shielding material will itself become radioactive over time. Even if you bury it deep underground, you run the risk that tectonic activity will rupture the storage units, and then the nasty stuff comes right back. And unlike most other forms of pollution, which are biodegradable at least in the long run, nuclear waste will remain dangerous for literally millions of years.

  10. #10 Roman Werpachowski
    June 1, 2006

    1. Sulphur can contaminate ground water.
    2. Nuclear waste is easier to control since there’s less of it.

    Even if you bury it deep underground, you run the risk that tectonic activity will rupture the storage units, and then the nasty stuff comes right back.

    The containers they put the fuel in are very strong.

    And unlike most other forms of pollution, which are biodegradable at least in the long run, nuclear waste will remain dangerous for literally millions of years.

    Do you know the law of exponential decay?? The longer is the half-life period, the smaller is the decay intensity. Sure, there will be some radiation after “milions of years” – but it will be minimal and absolutely safe.

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