Games Environmentalists Play

Conn Carroll /

For global warming crusaders nothing is more important than reducing the carbon humans emit into the atmosphere. The problem, as the more honest environmentalists have noted, is that all of these carbon limiting schemes (whether they be cap-and-trade or a gas tax) would significantly harm the economic growth that is vital to people everywhere. However in the more enlightened in the environmental movement largely ignore an energy source that is clean, affordable, and emits nothing into the atmosphere: nuclear power.

The problem for the green movement is that they spent much of the 1960s and 1970s demonizing nuclear power and now that the perceived threat has change, they can’t wave a magic wand and admit to all their alarmism. Not wanting to appear so blatantly hypocritical, the movement often pays lip service to accepting nuclear power, but then demands farfetched security preconditions. Jack Spencer exposes this game in today’s Washington Post Think Tank Town.

Spencer highlights a January 4, front page Post story about guards falling asleep at a nuclear power plant: “The article also contained accusations that a whistle-blower had been ignored. Scary stuff, eh? Until you realize it’s the same old story New York’s WCBS-TV broke four months earlier. … The media’s continued fixation on this story suggests alarmism, at best, and bias against nuclear power at worst. At the very least, such reporting misleads the public about the safety of nuclear power.”

Spencer continues: “Increasingly, the anti-nukers preach acceptance — but with a catch. Their conditions generally hinge on safety concerns. What seems reasonable, however, quickly becomes ridiculous. Their formula includes overstating the safety concerns, misstating the information used to support their positions, and then demanding an unattainable set of stipulations to meet their conditions. This allows them to avoid being overtly anti-nuclear while advancing an anti-nuclear agenda.”