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how to promote nuclear power

Page history last edited by Andrew Alder 2 years, 8 months ago Saved with comment

A page on energy issues and a companion to Why to promote nuclear power.


Like what happens when you do not go nuclear  this is a page of developing thoughts. Suggestions are therefore particularly welcome. Please contact me with them.


A question on Quora recently asked "What can I do to support nuclear power?" I answered "be informed, be brave, be realistic". You can see the rest of my answer at https://www.quora.com/q/nuclearforagreenerus/What-can-I-do-to-support-Nuclear-Power-6 (for the moment at least).


But many other answers have given me a lot to think about. Some of them aggressively anti-nuclear-power of course, and they helped me to better understand why some people are so anti. Others that were aggressively pro nuclear power were less helpful, and these also gave some painful fresh insights into exactly why some people are so anti.


Not a lot of it was surprising. But it all helped me to refine my thoughts, and change them in perhaps small but significant ways. The substance hasn't changed much but the focus has.


And parallel to this, some pro-nuclear advocates are now saying that we should fight fire with fire, and be as manipulative as the anti-nuclear industry has been, using similar methods. This appalls me. We should not need to stoop to this, and in doing so we abandon the moral high ground.


We do need to do better. But that need not be hard! See the pathetic PR record of nuclear power.  


So here is a better answer. As I said above, comments welcome.




Be informed

Several responses, mainly but not only those opposing nuclear power, said some quite ridiculous things. Obviously if they can get away with repeating the old turkeys about bombs, wastes and accidents, and back these bogus claims up with even more bogus information, and get away with it, we have a problem. But we don't just need to correct them, we also need to be right ourselves.


One mainly pro-nuclear writer recently refused to be corrected on their claim that U-233 is "fissionable". (Do you know what the problem is with that claim?) 


How you gonna teach without learnin', boy?


Be honest

PROVERBS 14:2 Be honest and you show that you have reverence for the LORD; be dishonest and you show that you do not. And similarly, respect for other people and for the planet.


It's a complex field. Even if you have a PhD in Nuclear Engineering you probably don't know the lot.  Nobody knows the lot.


One of the problems we have is that the nuclear industry is not perfect. Fair go, you say, nobody is perfect but we are better than most. True. But we need to be as good as possible. So don't pretend to know more than you do, or to be right if you realise after having pressed "save" or "submit" that what you said wasn't quite up to the mark. Don't defend the indefensible.


If we are right and nuclear power is good for the environment, then we do not need to lie. And if we're wrong, then again it's better if we are honest.


Either way, it's best that the facts... the true facts... are known sooner rather than later.


Be patient

It will probably require generational change before Greenpeace will allow new nukes in Germany or the USA. And they and those of like mind probably have the street cred to stop them. See pollies and participants.


If that's reality, then that's what we need to work with.


Conflict is not in our interests, and some of those opposing nuclear power know this only too well. That is why it is such a popular greenist tactic. 


And the other reason to avoid conflict is, if nuclear power really is a good idea, environmentally, then there's obviously a lot of cognitive_dissonance to deal with. The secret to dealing with this effectively is to win the other person's respect, and the best way to do this is to show them respect too.


It's not easy. I sometimes find it a very hard line to walk. Much of what the antis have said over the years and some of what they continue to say is pure rubbish and always was. How do you answer it without being confrontational? And yet it deserves an answer, surely? 


And a person who is aware that their beliefs are not entirely consistent will naturally and unconsciously assume that other people are living in a similar state of confusion and denial, see how to reveal yourself. But on that basis, take heart whenever you are accused of lying. The chances are very good that the person making the accusation at least suspects and perhaps even knows that not everything they say themselves is true! Which brings us back to being informed and honest ourselves. See above.



See also



More to follow, watch this space

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