Protecting our shared environment is a conservative value and a liberal responsibility

It is past time to move towards a broader view of our shared responsibility to protect our environment, seek improved prosperity, and leave a better world than the one to which we were born.

The political boundary lines that seem to have been hardened in recent years are preventing us from cooperating, even in areas where we share many aspirations.

There is a scene in Robert Stone’s Pandora’s Promise, a documentary made by a life-long liberal in support of a new look at nuclear energy, a powerful energy technology has somehow gained the reputation of being supported by conservatives and frowned on by liberals, in which Margaret Thatcher is seen giving a speech to the United Nations on the need to work together to prevent global climate change, protect biodiversity, and reduce all forms of pollution. That clip is cogent, but far too short.

Stone recently shared a link to the full speech on an email list to which we both subscribe and contribute. Please take the time to listen carefully to a heartfelt, well-written and well-delivered speech. Please ask why we have let more than a quarter of a century pass since that speech without engaging in the productive, cooperative effort that she outlines. More importantly, please ask yourself what we should do, starting today, to work together on items of common interest to us all.

PS – Yes, I know I can be almost irrationally optimistic — from a conventional point of view.

ICYMI – James Webb is exploring a run for President in 2016

James Webb is a successful author, lawyer, former Marine infantry officer, and graduate of the US Naval Academy class of 1968. In addition to his service in combat during the Vietnam war, he has a track record of civilian public service as an Assistant Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan Administration and a six-year term as a Senator from Virginia. He was elected to office in 2006 after running a dark-horse campaign that started just 9 months before the election with a 30% deficit in the polls compared to the incumbent he ran against.

He is a citizen-solider-public servant. He is not a professional politician or member of the permanent Washington establishment.

In November 2014, Webb announced that he was forming an exploratory effort to determine if he should run for President of the United States.

I’ve decided to post his introductory video here because I’ve met the man a couple of times at events associated with two of my former employers — the US Navy and B&W mPower, Inc. — and because he is unabashed in his support for nuclear energy. It’s clear that the commercial media will focus on people who have more money to spend, so his candidacy is a natural topic for a nuclear energy-focused blog that is not supported by ads.

“And I’m a strong believer, from the time that I was 18 years old, in the advantages of nuclear power.”

Webb wrote “A Sense of Honor.” He has lived by the sense of personal honor and integrity instilled in him while growing up in the Appalachian region, attending the US Naval Academy and serving his country both in and out of uniform. His candidacy will be worth watching, especially if you have developed the sense that the USA is adrift and in need of strong leadership that recognizes the value of cooperation and teamwork.

Potentially huge news – Branson’s Carbon War Room merging with Lovins’s Rocky Mountain Institute

Update: (Video embed added Dec 18, 02:13 am) An organization that wants to harness the power of science, technology and free enterprise to solve climate change — which their CEO describes as “the single biggest priority for mankind” — cannot possibly remain adamantly opposed to the use of nuclear energy as a powerful tool. The […]

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Presentations from NAS BEIR VIII Planning Meeting Posted

On November 17, 2014, I attended a meeting at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington organized to determine if there is a need to convene an eighth committee on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR VIII). The presentations given during that meeting have been published on line at Planning Towards the BEIR […]

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Putting excitement back into nuclear technology development

Josh Freed, Third Way‘s clean energy vice president, has published a thoughtful, graphically enticing Brookings Essay titled Back to the Future: Advanced Nuclear Energy and the Battle Against Climate Change. It focuses on Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie of Transatomic Power, but it also makes it abundantly clear that those two visionary entrepreneurs are examples […]

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Ben Heard and Gordon McDowell collaborate to produce Nuclear Power for Australia

Ben Heard is one of the most articulate, skilled presenters working for the expansion of nuclear energy. Gordon McDowell is a skilled videographer who has produced a number of useful, informative videos about nuclear fission, normally with a focus on the potential of thorium fueled reactors. The two talented advocates have recently produced and published […]

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Atomic Show #230 – Alex Epstein, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Alex Epstein, the founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, recently published The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. Trained as a philosopher, Alex describes himself as anti-pollution but pro-development. He believes that the standard of value for any development or technology should be its impact for human beings and that the green standard of non-impact […]

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60 Minutes on coal ash – muted outrage, lots of smiles and nods

On December 7, 2014, 60 Minutes, the venerable investigative reporting television show that has been on the air since 1968, aired a segment about Duke Energy’s Dan River coal ash spill, which occurred on February 2, 2014. That large release of coal waste was a big topic in local newspapers and television shows in my […]

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Wade Allison at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan

On December 3, 2014, Dr. Wade Allison was invited to give a speech to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. The title of that talk was The Fukushima nuclear accident and the unwarranted fear of low-dose radiation. After Dr. Allison gave his talk explaining why he believed that our current treatment of radiation is governed […]

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Australia’s blinkered vision in China’s commitment to reduce global warming

By Robert Parker President, Australian Nuclear Association Two of the most powerful nations on earth have concluded an agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Included in that agreement is reference to nuclear power being used to limit those emissions. Yet in Australia even discussion of nuclear power is taboo. We continue to frame the control […]

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Oil investors should learn about atomic energy opportunities

On December 2, 2014, Bloomberg published an article titled Oil Investors May Be Running Off a Cliff They Can’t See in the Personal Finance section of their online publication. The article focuses on the risks associated with investing in companies that specialize in developing or financing fossil fuel resources in an era where there is […]

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Atomic Show #229 – Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, Transatomic Power

On December 1, 2014, I talked with Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, the co-founders of Transatomic Power, a tiny nuclear reactor design company started up less than 3 years ago. Several weeks ago, I published an article here titled Transatomic Power – Anatomy of Next. That article, as expected, generated a healthy discussion thread. At […]

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