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4 Comments

  1. I liked the show, but I don’t think you did the best job in interviewing him. (Practice makes perfect, I guess.)
    You spent a lot of time recounting the well known history about Carter (his “atomic career”, for instance). And some well known theories about motivations (appeasing southern coal interests). Those facts about Carter have been well worked over by yourself and others, and wouldn’t be unknown to your listeners. There seemed to be some ackwardness on the part of guest: at one point he seemed to just give up a bit and start talking about you wanted to talk about. There were clearly some things he wished to say, but didn’t: some deeper background and motivations behind Carter’s decisions.
    It isn’t that you were impolite, but I wonder if your guest wasn’t quite satisfied.

  2. I studied the podcast by listening several times. If there is better material out there, please let us know, “crf”, as there are those of us who knew nothing a few months ago who need to rapidly come up to speed on all matters nuclear who find that Rod’s podcasts are a primary resource, especially because I can do my chores listening to my iPod, i.e. I don’t have to be reading some document. I am far less informed about nuclear power than most of the listeners, I assume. I found the exchange between Rod and Dr. Rossin very interesting. I don’t care about sound quality, or even if there are better interviewers in the world – Rod consistently produces something I am very interested in that provokes me to do further research.
    I found my curiosity aroused on the topic of plutonium being at the center of all concerns on early waste policy, and I would like to hear more about this. When I first became interested in nuclear power I read parts of the MIT study The Future of Nuclear Power, and they are still cranking out this line, i.e. concerns about plutonium led them to proclaim that the present day fuel cycle should be used in any nuclear renaissance, never mind the breeders. I’d like to hear Rod interview Jimmy Carter to see if he’s changed his mind. Does Carter regret he pretended to have more nuclear expertise than he actually did while he changed the energy history of the US, or did he actually study enough to hold his own in debate with someone like Rod? I’d like to hear Rod interview the authors of the MIT study to see why they are still on Carter’s wavelength on plutonium, even though they seem to be promoting the use of nuclear power.
    Another thing that came up that fascinated me was the declaration by Dr Rossin that there was a faction, post Vietnam War, that regarded any sustainable, almost unlimited source of energy such as breeder reactors, as something that should be opposed just because it would mean there would be almost unlimited cheap energy. I lived through that time as a Canadian, in Canada, although I was the same age as Vietnam draftees. I did not notice this faction. I have a quote from Amory Lovins dated 1977 where he says: “It’d be a little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it”. I had thought this was his personal idiocy. Now I’m beginning to see he was voicing an opinion held by many. I’d like to hear what Lovins says about this now. Is there anyone now who would say we don’t need a source of clean cheap abundant energy?

  3. “Is there anyone now who would say we don’t need a source of clean cheap abundant energy?”
    I seriously doubt that Paul Ehrlich has changed his mind.

    1. For those interested in what Ehrlich is saying now: Here is a podcast of an extended interview with Ehrlich done in late 2009 by a sympathetic Australian interviewer, Philip Adams. Adams might be the best interviewer in Oz.
      http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2009/11/lnl_20091119_2205.mp3
      I looked around for Ehrlich’s early views on nuclear. He didn’t sound opposed to it in the 1970s interview I found. He said there is no unlimited source of energy that won’t cause civilization to run into the limits of a finite planet, which was and is his thesis, i.e. civilization cannot expand its size forever on a finite planet.
      For example, I laughed at first as I read this bit of 1970s Ehrlich, but stopped laughing once I did some calculations:
      “It isn

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