|Left, Flickr, Center, Simon Fraser University Flickr Creative Commons, Right, Screenshot from Pandora's Promise.|
My previous article was about Bill Nye's choice to ignore the science when it comes to nuclear energy safety. I'm not picking on Bill. My critiques are in response to Nye's decision to use his celebrity status to publicly air his anti-nuclear energy beliefs. This is likely the last article I'll write about his views ...depending I suppose, on what else he has to say in public about nuclear energy. I'm bringing this topic up again because the pro-nuclear energy film Pandora's Promise (which was the target of his keynote address following the screening of Pandora's Promise at Columbia University) was also shown at the recently concluded Paris climate talks to bolster James Hansen's call for environmental groups to "let go of long-held biases when it comes to nuclear power."
You can view the YouTube video of that speech here. I don't know what the organizers were expecting, but what they got was an old-school anti-nuclear energy diatribe (where pretty much everything he said was wrong). Bill was doing his best to teach the young Columbia students in the audience (who he kept referring to as kids) what he had been taught and twice asked them to vote out of office politicians who think nuclear power plants should be part of our energy mix to fight climate change (as Obama does).
Interestingly enough, the two senators from Nye's old stomping grounds in Washington State who are big supporters of anything green, were not among the four who voted against expanding the role of nuclear power in a new energy bill, so maybe reasoned argument is starting to turn the tide:
WASHINGTON — Here’s how the state’s U.S. senators voted on major issues in the week ending Jan. 29. The House was in recess.Now, of course, the entire anti-nuclear energy idea was started with some critical thinking. Nuclear energy can do harm and it isn't too cheap to meter after all. But from that point on it became a snowball rolling down hill, a bandwagon to be jumped on. Facts got discarded along the way, stories grew larger with each retelling.
Boost for nuclear energy
By a vote of 87 for and 4 against, the Senate on Jan. 28 expanded the role of nuclear power in a wide-ranging energy bill (S 2012) that remained in debate. In part, the amendment directs the Department of Energy to establish a “national innovation center” at which the government and private sector would jointly develop advanced technologies for nuclear reactors.
Voting yes: Maria Cantwell, D, Patty Murray, D