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Let's go nuclear

By Alan Caruba
web posted October 20, 2008

How do you know when a Green—hardcore environmentalist—is lying to you? When his lips are moving. Okay, it's a cliché used in other cases as well, but it is especially true when the latest absurd claim comes flying at you courtesy of the mainstream media.

Take nuclear energy as an example. A new survey by Bisconti Research, taken since one conducted in April, revealed "a record-high 74% of Americans favor nuclear energy, with only 24% opposed." That's a big change in just five months and no doubt has a lot to do with the growing public realization that America will have an energy crisis on its hands if it does not permit new plants to be built.

"The unprecedented levels of support for nuclear energy found in this survey," said Ann Bisconti, "can be attributed to growing concerns about energy and focus on energy alternatives." There are few real alternatives. At present, coal-fired plants generate just over 50% of electricity and nuclear represents about 20%. The rest is made up by hydroelectric, and some natural gas. The much touted "clean" energy sources, solar and wind, only 1%.

The Greens have a long history of being opposed to nuclear energy, claiming it is too dangerous and there's no place to put the spent rods. However, they have also been shouting about the need for "clean" energy that does not emit "greenhouse gases." Nuclear does not do that. It emits water vapor in the form of steam and water vapor is a key element of the Earth's atmosphere.

Moreover, there hasn't been an accident since the problem encountered by Three Mile Island in 1979. Even then, no one was harmed. The technology since then has ensured that the nuclear energy industry is astonishingly safe.

There's a billion dollar facility, Yucca Mountain, waiting to receive nuclear waste, but the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, (D-NV) refuses to allow it to begin operation. The facility recently received clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency for meeting a stringent radiation protection standard. You would get more radiation from a CAT scan than Yucca Mountain.

So, while Greens tout wind and solar, two of the least effective and reliable ways to provide for the nation's energy needs, they continue to bad mouth nuclear as a viable alternative. Its popularity is such that developing nations all over the world are seeking to build their own nuclear plants. India, for example, is embarked on an ambitious program.

Greens also are actively opposing nuclear energy. Friends of the Earth, a leading environment organization, is engaged in program to denigrate nuclear energy, calling Yucca Mountain "a false solution that would run trains full of toxic nuclear waste through neighborhoods like yours." This ignores the fact that all manner of toxic materials move around the nation every day for manufacturing and other purposes. And they do it safely.

So what do the Greens want? It's more like what they don't want. They don't want more electricity for Americans no matter what generates it.

They are opposed to all expansion and development even as the population continues to grow. That's why you will find Greens trying to stop any form of development, whether it's more land use for housing or more energy for electricity to light and heat it. That's why they are against any exploration and drilling for oil and natural gas and against coal.

They are against the timber industry, too, and the production and consumption of meat, claiming that raising livestock contributes to global warming.

There is no global warming. The Earth is in a new cooling cycle, but that doesn't slow the deluge of lies. ESR

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. He blogs daily at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. © Alan Caruba, October 2008

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