Armond Cohen: Looks at Lovins’s claims with questioning analysis

A few hours ago, I posted a blog titled Amory Lovins-speak: Three misleading statements in a 15 second sound bite. That post included a video embed of Lovins presentation during a March 28, 2014 symposium sponsored by the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth titled Three Mile Island 35th Anniversary Symposium: The Past, Present, and Future of Nuclear Energy.

That talk was followed — after a break — by the following panel discussion. If you don’t have time to watch the whole hour and 21 minutes, you might want to focus on the first 20 minutes. That is the section where Armond Cohen, the Executive Director of the Clean Air Task Force and former guest on the Atomic Show, provides a presentation with analysis that is direct opposition to the talk that Lovins gave. Though Cohen was not provided an advance review of Lovins’s talk, he has probably heard similar talks from the same source often enough to know what to expect.

Several times during his presentation, Cohen said something to the effect of “And here our conclusion is different from than the one that Amory provided.”

My interpretation of Cohen’s talk was that he once hoped renewables and energy efficiency could be able to do the job without a lot of help from either fossil fuel or nuclear energy, but after running the numbers he recognized that the probability was not high enough to risk betting the cleanliness of our shared atmosphere on a hope.

Cohen is evidently a hockey fan, like several nuclear advocates that I know in Washington, so his prescription for our energy future uses a hockey analogy. He recommends that we take a lot of shots on goal and to avoid removing one of our most potent and proven scorers from the game.

PS – Cohen and I do not see eye to eye on some topics, especially with regard to the potential utility of offshore wind. I am adamantly opposed to offshore wind, especially the Cape Wind project, but have not been spending much time worrying about it. I predicted several years ago that it would never be built, but the project keeps getting jolts from the death-delaying paddles of political intervention.

Atomic Show #215 – Armond Cohen, CATF, describes need for nuclear

Armond Cohen is the Executive Director of the Clean Air Task Force. We spoke in January 2008 on episode #78 of the Atomic Show. At that time, Armond and his organization did not take a position on nuclear energy. On March 28 of this year, I heard Armond give a talk at the commemoration of […]

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Existing nuclear plants are valuable and worth saving

Many currently operating nuclear plants are in danger of being permanently shut down due to temporary conditions including low, but volatile natural gas prices, improperly designed markets that fail to recognize the value of reliable generating capacity, quotas and mandates that result in certain types of electrical generators receiving direct monetary payments in addition to […]

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Open letter to antinuclear groups claiming to be “environmental”

Dr. Alexander Cannara is an environmental activist who has been writing letters to antinuclear groups. He gave me permission to republish one of his missives here. The views expressed are his, but they deserve to reach a larger audience. By Dr. Alexander Cannara Date: 19 Sept. 2013 Subject: An open letter to groups I’ll no […]

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Alvin Weinberg’s liquid fuel reactors

Figure 6. Senators John Kennedy and Al Gore Sr flank Alvin Weinberg on a visit to ORNL

A nuclear pioneer’s work on safer, cheaper, inexhaustible nuclear power is still inspiring nuclear environmentalists. by Robert Hargraves Physicist Alvin Weinberg worked on the Manhattan Project and later co-invented the pressurized water nuclear reactor. As Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory he led development of liquid fuel reactors, including walk-away-safe liquid fluoride thorium reactors with […]

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Professional antinuclear greens resist; greens concerned about climate change embrace

Fissures related to nuclear energy are developing in the monolithic movement known as Environmentalism. The Breakthrough Institute has published a good introduction to the schism titled The Great Green Meltdown: How Economic Arguments Against Nuclear Highlight Environmentalist Delusions. Though this is a simplification, it is generally accurate to describe two sides of the movement that […]

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Jane Velez-Mitchell expresses shock as she interviews Robert Stone about Pandora’s Promise

Jane Velez-Mitchell concludes this segment by saying: “If you ever thought you knew anything about nuclear power plants, think again.” She then extolls the CNN audience to tune in and watch Pandora’s Promise.

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Robert Stone talks with Michael Moore at the Traverse City Film Festival

During the summer of 2013, Robert Stone, the director of Pandora’s Promise, was invited to show his documentary at the Traverse City Film Festival. Michael Moore, one of the most famous and financially successful documentary film makers in America, is the founder and president of the festival. After the showing, the two directors chatted about […]

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Pandora’s Promise disrupts assumptions about nuclear energy

If Robert Stone’s primary purpose in creating Pandora’s Promise was to generate discussion about nuclear energy, it appears that he has succeeded. If his underlying purpose was to generate heated and uncomfortable reactions from people who have invested their entire career identity into being a go-to person for a negative comment about nuclear energy for […]

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Pandora’s Promise Review Roundup

Robert Stone’s Pandora’s Promise has been capturing attention and encouraging people to challenge their personal beliefs and tribal assumptions. Stone’s documentary is a classic “journey of discovery” tale featuring five people who changed their minds about nuclear energy from opposition to support. It takes viewers along the path of knowledge discovery followed by Gwyneth Cravens, […]

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Green Nuclear Junk – reposted from DecarboniseSA

Ben Heard and Geoff Russell collaborated on a post for DecarboniseSA titled Green Nuclear Junk that takes careful aim at an antinuclear meme that is mostly based on a series of false assumptions that include a table of mortality figures made incorrect by dividing by 8.76 instead of multiplying by that same number. With Ben’s […]

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Mark Lynas describes anti GMO conspiracy to Cornell University

One of the primary reasons I am sharing the above video is that it has an analog in the multi-decade effort to restrict the growth of nuclear technology. Though not the topic of this talk, Mark pointed out the similarity between the anti GMO and antinuclear movements. At minute 15:30 he said: Indeed, in many […]

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