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GREGORY DIET MOCKED

Has the whole world gone completely sane? First Peter Garrett moderated his decades-long opposition to nuclear energy, and now the NYT’s Nicholas Kristof says yay for nukes:

If there was one thing that used to be crystal clear to any environmentalist, it was that nuclear energy was the deadliest threat this planet faced. That’s why Dick Gregory pledged at a huge anti-nuke demonstration in 1979 that he would eat no solid food until all nuclear plants in the U.S. were shut down.

Mr. Gregory may be getting hungry.

But it’s time for the rest of us to drop that hostility to nuclear power. It’s increasingly clear that the biggest environmental threat we face is actually global warming, and that leads to a corollary: nuclear energy is green.

Nuclear power, in contrast with other sources, produces no greenhouse gases. So President Bush’s overall environmental policy gives me the shivers, but he’s right to push ahead for nuclear energy. There haven’t been any successful orders for new nuclear plants since 1973, but several proposals for new plants are now moving ahead - and that’s good for the world we live in.

Kristof’s march to reason continues apace. Soon he will be fired.

(via Alan R.M. Jones)

Posted by Tim B. on 04/09/2005 at 01:31 PM
  1. When will the libs admit that global warming is not the greatest environmental threat?  They were proven wrong on nuclear power and it’s obvious that they are wrong on global warming.

    Posted by on 04/09 at 02:11 PM • permalink

  2. Regardless of the validity and/or reality of

    global warming
    , the ecofascists have been fanatically opposed to nuclear and hydropower for decades.

    Disclosure - I work in hydropower.

    I have seen many a sound hydro project in 3rd world countries cancelled because of the relentless pressure from well-funded ecofascist groups.

    Of course, the only alternative is coal or gas-burning thermal plants which release good CO2 into the atmosphere along with a bunch of not so good stuff.

    Don’t get me started on wind power

    Posted by on 04/09 at 02:45 PM • permalink

  3. I guess I still haven’t mastered

    scare quotes

    Posted by on 04/09 at 02:47 PM • permalink

  4. Andrea - WTF is that quote button for?

    Posted by on 04/09 at 02:47 PM • permalink

  5. I have come around to think that nuclear power is a good idea.  The technology has vastly improved in terms of safety and waste production.

    If France can satisfy 80% of its electricity needs with nuclear power, why not the rest of us?  The problem in the US is NIMBYism about where to store the radioactive waste.  Yucca Mountain in Nevada was looking really good, but it looks like things are up for grabs there again.  They have been fighting about it in court for over a decade.  It may not be resolved in my lifetime, and I’m only 57.

    Posted by on 04/09 at 03:15 PM • permalink

  6. jlchydro-

    Andrea - WTF is that quote button for?

    Maybe to create a quote block?

    Posted by on 04/09 at 03:29 PM • permalink

  7. “the only alternative is coal or gas-burning thermal plants which release good CO2 into the atmosphere along with a bunch of not so good stuff.”

    Thermal depolymerization. It won’t solve every problem but it can make a large contribution.

    Posted by on 04/09 at 03:33 PM • permalink

  8. Nofix - Yeah, that’s what I thought, too

    Yehu - you don’t have to be a ickhead to post about thermal depolymerization - but it does help

    Posted by on 04/09 at 05:01 PM • permalink

  9. jlchydro: “Don’t get me started on wind power”

    Don’t get much of anything started on wind power..?

    Fr*nce has oodles of nukes; Fr*nce is the seat of modern civilization; we should all emulate Fr*nce; we should all have nukes.  QED.

    Gosh… even Iran understands how nifty nuclear power is.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they start making cheese and eating snails over there.

    Posted by zeppenwolf on 04/09 at 05:13 PM • permalink

  10. Don’t forget that “pebble bed” nuclear reactors are supposed to be infinitely safer ("walk away safe") than the control rod models we use now.

    Posted by Aaron - Freewill on 04/09 at 05:15 PM • permalink

  11. jchyrdro — When you hit the quote button it’s supposed to put down the best quote you’re capable of?  Doesn’t it work for you?

    I wonder how much of this sudden “march to reason” on the part of the left is what Kos Moulitsas had in mind when he said the Democratic Party should reassert its moral superiority by loudly calling for things it new would never be enacted?

    Posted by on 04/09 at 06:31 PM • permalink

  12. Interesting data on both global warming and nuclear energy at http://www.oism.org/oism/s32p29.htm
    Dr. Petr Beckman was a pretty smart old bird and there have been many advancements since he died.
    Frank

    Posted by on 04/09 at 08:44 PM • permalink

  13. The quote button inserts tags to set off text.

    Like this.
    See?

    Posted by on 04/09 at 09:02 PM • permalink

  14. Check out the Federal ALP’s new “cunning plan” to regain power!

    Posted by Quentin George on 04/09 at 09:18 PM • permalink

  15. 11/13

    Well, I think that’s pretty fuckin’ stupid.  “Quotes” is “Quotes”, n’est ce pas??

    Posted by on 04/09 at 10:10 PM • permalink

  16. 14. 

    Eddie wil help keep labor in 14th place at the end of the season.

    Posted by on 04/09 at 10:13 PM • permalink

  17. Cut down a forrest and put up a wind turbine farm.

    Posted by on 04/09 at 10:21 PM • permalink

  18. jlchydro — Hit the button again.  That one wasn’t very good.

    Posted by on 04/09 at 10:30 PM • permalink

  19. Well, I think that’s pretty fuckin’ stupid.  “Quotes�? is “Quotes�?, n’est ce pas??

    Jesus, some people will nitpick at fucking anything. Look, I didn’t write Pmcode. As for the buttons, I figured everyone knew what a “quote” was, as opposed to “quotation marks,” but I guess I was wrong.

    Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/09 at 10:58 PM • permalink

  20. As time passes and there are no melt downs [outside Russia] I think a lot of people are starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of nuclear power. Including me.

    Posted by on 04/09 at 11:08 PM • permalink

  21. Was everything I learned from the Simpsons a lie?????

    Posted by on 04/10 at 12:48 AM • permalink

  22. nuclear energy is green

    Oh. My. God.

    The NYT printed this?  Someone send a space heater to Satan—Hell hath frozen over!

    My (civilian) work is related to hydropower as well, and I echo jlchydro’s comments (excluding the quote button, obviously, as I can use it correctly). 

    Wind power is a reasonable alternative energy source (my home town has hundreds of wind generators near by), in that it provides some baseline power.  But it’s limited by available space, suitable locations, and NIMBYism (yeah, some folks don’t like their landscape “cluttered” up, even if the energy source is relatively non-polluting.  Imagine that).

    Our civilization is energy intensive, so we need energy sources beyond natural sources—and that includes hydropower, folks.  There are only so many suitable locations for dams, and climate is ever finicky, ensuring that hydropower will have lean years. 

    Unless, of course, everyone in the world tosses their appliances into the dumpster, wears only skins, and eats nuts and berries.  Any volunteers?

    Posted by on 04/10 at 02:33 AM • permalink

  23. where to store the radioactive waste.

    I can think of several expendable countries.

    Posted by on 04/10 at 03:53 AM • permalink

  24. Oh, heck, jorge, why settle for expendable countries?  If you really want to stir up the pot, just suggest launching radioactive waste into the sun.  You’ll get a rise out of any Gaia worshipping swampy.

    Posted by on 04/10 at 05:33 AM • permalink

  25. Gregory’s no solids diet seems to have fucked his brain. Okay, his brain was already fucked; now it’s totally fucked.

    Posted by J F Beck on 04/10 at 08:15 AM • permalink

  26. Where to store the radioactive waste.

    The simple, practical solution that folks seem to be converging to is dry cask storage.  In this scheme, spent fuel elements that have cooled for a while in cooling pools are moved to sealed, armored, shielded casks, which are filled with inert gas and cooled by passive convection to the surrounding environment.  Casks can be transported by truck, rail or ship, or stored on-site.

    Dry cask storage has anti-nukes in a frenzy, since it nicely counters their strategy of trying to shut down nuclear plants by overloading their spent fuel facilities.

    A properly designed cask should last for centuries, even just sitting out exposed on a concrete pad.  By that time, the fuel will be much less radioactive, so it will be easier and cheaper to deal with.  The net present value of that far-future treatment is also negligible, even ignoring the likely advance in technology between now and then.

    BTW, shooting waste into the sun is silly.  It’s easier to just send it off into interstellar space, or crash it onto the moon (’Space: 1999’ notwithstanding).

    Posted by on 04/10 at 02:05 PM • permalink

  27. JF Beck — Dick Gregory seems a natural for Webdiary or You’re Democracy?!

    Posted by on 04/10 at 04:58 PM • permalink

  28. pfdietz — Wouldn’t it be easier to shoot the waste intoTehran?

    Posted by on 04/10 at 05:01 PM • permalink

  29. Richard: that would be undesirable, since it would be an act of war, and they could reprocess it.  Reactor-grade plutonium is usable in bombs, although you either have to accept lower yield or use more advanced techniques (boosting) to get high yield even with preinitiation of the chain reaction.

    Or maybe you weren’t being serious?

    Posted by on 04/10 at 05:29 PM • permalink

  30. richard’s “/sarcasm” tags are generally written with invisible ink.  So are mine.

    Posted by on 04/11 at 12:05 AM • permalink

  31. You are right about the dry cask storage, however.  But most people heard the word “radiation” and freak out, without knowing the difference between an alpha particle and a dosimeter.  It’s a bit irresponsible to joke about dumping radioactive waste in Tehran, but it only proves that us certified RWDBs are but human.  Well, almost human!

    Posted by on 04/11 at 12:09 AM • permalink

  32. “It’s increasingly clear that the biggest environmental threat we face is actually global warming, and that leads to a corollary: nuclear energy is green.”

    I dont know what a “corollary” is but i reckon “embarrassing about-face” would just about cover it.

    Posted by on 04/11 at 12:20 PM • permalink

  33. just suggest launching radioactive waste into the sun.  You’ll get a rise out of any Gaia worshipping swampy.

    Not to mention your friendly local space launch service.

    It takes more delta-v (launch vehicle power) to send a payload into the Sun than to boost it out of the solar system.

    The moon now, though...ah, listen to the swampies holler.

    Posted by on 04/11 at 04:13 PM • permalink

  34. pfdietz — Not if you powder it to get a nice even coating…

    Posted by on 04/11 at 09:07 PM • permalink

  35. Aw, steveH!  Think about the fun you can have, talking about launching the stuff into the sun!  You don’t have to do it, you just have to suggest it.

    "Hey, swampy, how do you like that plutonium enriched sunlight?  Ahhhhh, there’s nothing like supercharged vitamin D!!!!"

    And think of the spin off market....lead lined trench coats...vegetables grown under sun lamps...placebos sold as anti-radiation pills…

    Why, you could make a fortune here!

    Posted by on 04/12 at 12:22 AM • permalink

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