Monday, April 25, 2011

A once anti-nuclear power advocate now confesses he was wrong

In The unpalatable truth is that the anti-nuclear lobby has misled us all George Monbiot starts with:

Over the last fortnight I've made a deeply troubling discovery. The anti-nuclear movement to which I once belonged has misled the world about the impacts of radiation on human health. The claims we have made are ungrounded in science, unsupportable when challenged, and wildly wrong. We have done other people, and ourselves, a terrible disservice.

I began to see the extent of the problem after a debate last week with Helen Caldicott. Dr Caldicott is the world's foremost anti-nuclear campaigner. She has received 21 honorary degrees and scores of awards, and was nominated for a Nobel peace prize. Like other greens, I was in awe of her. In the debate she made some striking statements about the dangers of radiation. So I did what anyone faced with questionable scientific claims should do: I asked for the sources. Caldicott's response has profoundly shaken me.

It is a good article, worth reading.
I am impressed that George was able to overcome his mindset and change his point of view.  Too often once we get a certain viewpoint locked in our brains it is almost impossible to change it.

My analysis is that nuclear power has risks, but it is safer other forms of energy.  Cheaper energy increases our standard of living and saves lives.  Nuclear power has many advantages over coal, wind and oil.

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