Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Utne Reader Cover: The Nuclear Option

All-- does not seem to be available (for free) on-line -- By Jason Mark (the piece first appeared in Earth Island Journal and is available on-line for a fee)

My new copy of the Utne Reader came in the snail mail today -- The piece is an interesting survey of history and the current juxtaposition of climate crisis truth and rhetoric -- though unfortunately Jason missed the mark -- he himself makes the point that nuclear is impotent as a real climate crisis remedy -- but then throws the whole discussion into the need to remake society and THAT will make the "nuclear option moot."

I bring this out because I think it is exactly that we must go INTO the climate debate and agree that the climate crisis is immediate and top priority and claim our anti-nuclear activism as a form of fighting the climate crisis.

A young activist I work with recently said "yeah, but nuclear power is not a root cause of the climate crisis" -- I replied "YES IT IS! If the federal government had not squandered 70% of all energy R & D $$$ on nuclear power in the second half of the 20th century -- and had instead supported the growth and development of solar energy instead -- WE WOULD NOT BE IN THE CLIMATE CRISIS!"
This made sense...Anyway, nice that NIRS and many allies (Jim Riccio, Betsy Taylor, Geoff Fettus, Matt Reitman) are liberally quoted in the piece -- and VERY nice that Utne Reader adds a side-bar interview with Bill McKibben basically saying that nuclear is irrelevant to addressing the climate crisis.

Ok, if you read this far I have to add one more thought -- folks have been acting like a democratic Congress was going to go against nuclear energy all by itself. I do believe it is possible for us to get there-- but please look back at history to see that the first generation of reactors were built under the deft leadership of people like John Dingell and Bennett Johnston (good democrats!) ... ANY change is going to come because we build a movement strong enough to demand it... and that is another reason we have to make the climate crisis movement ours too!

Mary Olson
NIRS Southeast

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