Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nuclear energy is necessary to fight climate change

3 somewhat related news stories - if you are are tired of hearing about Pandora's Promise, please skip to the third, regarding a German science prize losing interest in "nuclear" science

Pandora’s Promise producer: Nuclear energy is necessary to fight climate change. - Slate Magazine:

Image from source article
My film Pandora’s Promise has, not surprisingly, generated a heated debate among my fellow environmentalists. That’s a good thing. But the guardians of environmental orthodoxy are up in arms because my film questions their perceived wisdom about how to tackle the danger of climate change. They don’t want you to see this film.
Whatever your views are about nuclear energy, and mine were very negative for most of my life, we are in desperate need of powerful and scalable clean-energy technologies if we are to avert a climate catastrophe. I made this film to spark a more robust public discourse about possible solutions for climate change, and I believe that critics who would shut down this discussion before it even starts are not serving the public interest. 
Continue reading at Slate Magazine:

Andrew Revkin has now posted a short blog entry with a long embedded video of the discussion between the producer of the film, Stone, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

‘Pandora’s Promise’ Director and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Debate Nuclear Options | Dot Earth


TWO MORE links regarding the movie:
Severin Borenstein : Pandora's Promises - kept and unkept ! Energy Institue at Haas is worth the read because he's an exceptional energy economist who had a discussion with the Breakthroug Institute's Shellenberger following a recent California showing.
Bornstein's piece also noted the non-review: David Roberts’ column on GristHow to Stash a Nuclear Reactor Away - Rainers Blog ... there's also video on Grist and dotearth of a conversation between Roberts and Revkin (one I found far more entertaining than the Stone/Kennedy clip included here.

Perhaps this should have lead but ... from a blog in Germany we see the disintegration of rational discourse and abandonment of subjectivity in a story of a science prize
Image from Rainers Blog
The GreenTec Awards are, according to their website, an important environment prize striving to “ecological and economical engagement and the deployment of environmental technology”. Germany’s environment secretary Peter Altmaier himself is the award’s patron. Media partners are the commercial TV broadcaster ProSiebenwith its science magazine “Galileo”, and the business journal Wirtschaftswoche. Applicants are required to “contribute their share to protect environment and resources towards ecological sustainability and avoid or reduce pollutants.”
Candidates submitted their proposals to various categories. The rules were clear: Within each category, one nominee for the final round is selected by a public online voting, two more are nominated by a jury.
Everything went smoothly. Except for the category “Galileo Wissenspreis” (“Galileo knowledge award”). The unexpected happened: In the online voting the public chose – a nuclear reactor!
The GreenTec Awards jury decided to defy the audience and its vote and expulse the Dual-Fluid Reactor from the final round. In order to do so, they changed the rules of the game: Now they have an amendmend saying that “selection of nominees and winners will ultimately be done independently by the Jury of Awards GreenTec. Legal action is excluded.”
...the award’s makers were criticized violently in blogs and social media, especially on their own Facebook page.
Eventually they published an explanation of their reasons to exclude the DFR. However, this fueled criticism even more. Their statements made clear they obviously didn’t understand how the DFR works, what it does, and why it is inherently safe....
When criticism didn’t ease and justification attempts failed, the organizers of the award reacted less-than-professional: They went wild and removed virtually all user comments from their Facebook page and blocked the commenters. They even posted something about the “19,000 dead of Fukushima being the end of nuclear energy”.

The entire article can be read at Rainers Blog - where you can also be a radical by supporting an "unloved stepchild" of the German Pirate party and sign a petition demanding the original rules be reinstalled and the reactor allowed back into it's earned place in the competition.

UPDATE - August 3rd:
They won in court and the reactor is back in the competition!
Greentec Awards could not handle the truth that Molten Salt Reactors would be good for the environment and that German Public like it, but German Court Overturns disqualification

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