The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'greenpeace'
Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace and former anti-nuclear activist, has changed his mind about nuclear energy, and now argues that mass adoption of nuclear power may be our only hope of averting catastrophic global warming:
Here's why: Wind and solar power have their place, but because they are intermittent and unpredictable they simply can't replace big baseload plants such as coal, nuclear and hydroelectric. Natural gas, a fossil fuel, is too expensive already, and its price is too volatile to risk building big baseload plants. Given that hydroelectric resources are built pretty much to capacity, nuclear is, by elimination, the only viable substitute for coal. It's that simple.Moore then goes through the most common objections to nuclear power and offers refutations for each one:
Nuclear plants are not safe. Although Three Mile Island was a success story, the accident at Chernobyl, 20 years ago this month, was not. But Chernobyl was an accident waiting to happen. This early model of Soviet reactor had no containment vessel, was an inherently bad design and its operators literally blew it up. The multi-agency U.N. Chernobyl Forum reported last year that 56 deaths could be directly attributed to the accident, most of those from radiation or burns suffered while fighting the fire. Tragic as those deaths were, they pale in comparison to the more than 5,000 coal-mining deaths that occur worldwide every year. No one has died of a radiation-related accident in the history of the U.S. civilian nuclear reactor program. (And although hundreds of uranium mine workers did die from radiation exposure underground in the early years of that industry, that problem was long ago corrected.)
Nuclear waste will be dangerous for thousands of years. Within 40 years, used fuel has less than one-thousandth of the radioactivity it had when it was removed from the reactor. And it is incorrect to call it waste, because 95 percent of the potential energy is still contained in the used fuel after the first cycle. Now that the United States has removed the ban on recycling used fuel, it will be possible to use that energy and to greatly reduce the amount of waste that needs treatment and disposal. Last month, Japan joined France, Britain and Russia in the nuclear-fuel-recycling business. The United States will not be far behind.
Nuclear reactors are vulnerable to terrorist attack. The six-feet-thick reinforced concrete containment vessel protects the contents from the outside as well as the inside. And even if a jumbo jet did crash into a reactor and breach the containment, the reactor would not explode. There are many types of facilities that are far more vulnerable, including liquid natural gas plants, chemical plants and numerous political targets.
Greenpeace have released a guide to environmentally safe sex, for highly principled people, with advice such as "if you like to use produce to get the blood boiling, make sure it is GE-free", and making sure that paddles are made from sustainably-harvested timber; not to mention suggestions for role-playing S&M games such as "George Bush and Corporate America at the Earth Summit":
6. Have you got something more than a good time up your sleeve. Could it be polyvinyl chloride? Ditch the PVC and vinyl accessories for your playtime. The production of PVC creates and releases one of the most toxic chemicals - dioxin. You also don't want to be sucking on that stuff. The use of PVC in young children's toys has already been banned in many countries. Instead, opt for accessories made from natural substances like rubber or leather.
Not sure what animal-liberation groups will think of Greenpeace telling people to use leather instead of PVC. How about sex toys made from hemp and recycled tyres?