In the December 12, 2005 issue of BusinessWeek magazine, there is a “Special Report” titled Business gets serious about emissions. The article talks about a number of initiatives, actions, technologies, policies, and regulations related to the issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the face of almost certain cost increases attributed to global climate change.
Major corporations are deciding that even without mandatory emission limits from the US government, they will take action because it makes financial sense to try to slow the effects of global climate change. Insurance companies are discussed as being part of the push; their losses from major weather events have increased dramatically in the past five years.
As I read the article, the sidebars, and the inserts, I became more and more agitated. Though it is certainly being discussed at the very highest levels of policymaking and corporate leadership, the beneficial impact of replacing fossil fuel combustion with atomic (nuclear) fission was not mentioned or even implied a single time during the course of the “Special Report”. After finishing my paper copy, I even went on line and did a number of different searches looking for “nuclear” or “atomic” anywhere in the report. Not a single return!
I am a writer and fully understand that not every story can contain every possible aspect. I also recognize that print publications are under more severe space constraints than on line publications whose words are less likely to be cut in order to place an advertisement or meet a given page count limit.
However, it is ridiculous that BusinessWeek writers and editors think that it is more important to show a picture of a solitary windmill in Inner Mongolia as an example of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions than to mention the fact that there have already been formal communications from major corporations in the US to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission indicating plans for at least a dozen new nuclear power plants.
Even though the proposed Duke Energy and Cinergy merger merited a couple of paragraphs of discussion, and the author discussed the risk to that merged company of proceeding to build even more coal fired power plants in the face of possible emissions, he did not mention that Cinergy has indicated that one of the prime reasons for its interest in Duke is because of its depth of nuclear power plant experience. My friend at NEI Nuclear Notes – Eric McErlain – pointed that out on December 2, 2005 in his entry titled Nuclear Perspectives from Climate Change Conference
BusinessWeek is certainly not a liberal publication run by ignorant people; it is a magazine seen in all the right places to reach investors. For example, I cannot remember the last time that I passed through the first class section of an airplane without seeing at least one copy being avidly read by an expensively dressed businessperson.
I do not get it; do the authors, fact checkers and editors have their head in the sand or in a time warp?