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27 Comments

  1. An excellent response, I’d say; the commenter certainly did not deserve such a studious and courteous reply… but then again “deserve” rarely gets anyone anywhere.

    I also despise anonymity. I’ve used my real name everywhere on the net since I got on it 15 years ago or so.

    1. @Will Davis

      When I first started making comments on the web – in 1991 – everyone used pseudonyms. That is when I developed the “atomicrod” identity. I can’t remember how long it was before I realized that it would be better to use my own name and take personal responsibility for my comments, but it was before 1995 when I started publishing Atomic Energy Insights (which morphed into Atomic Insights as soon as a realized that AEI was already in use as the acronym for an organization with which I shared few, if any, opinions.)

      It has long been clear that atomicrod and Rod Adams are the same person, so it’s quite possible to search for all of the comments that I have made since 1991.

  2. I think I see 2 main questions in your post. The first is to engage or not engage and second is how did you do. About the second one… he pushed your anger button and you bit (the libel reference sets a confrontational tone, justified or not). That said, I notice one of your constant “anti’s” here never looses his cool, I’ll give him that. I managed to hang for about 200 comments on that site and the pattern is clear; virtually all sub-threads end in character assassination and name calling. I avoid those type of sites, but that leads to the first question about engage or not engage. That’s not a simple answer, because it “depends.” I think we’d all probably agree we hope to influence the undecided, because the ideology based opinions won’t ever change. My gut feel is that particular site does not have a large population of undecideds on any issue, so I’d personally avoid it. You only have so much time and energy, so use it on sites where you feel you can make a difference. I know, the problem is that is hard to determine because you never know what the hit counter for another site may be. I judge that by the comment flavor, and that site leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  3. One of your better efforts. Well written and heartfelt. You probably won’t convince ‘prisonersdilema’ (I wonder if he knows dilemma is spelled with two m’s), but others might read that and get them thinking.

  4. Rod, even if you were as bad a person as your critic claims, no rational argument has been offered to demonstrate that you are wrong. What we have is an ad hominem fallacy, a logical error that does not lead to a rational conclusion. Even very bad people can offer statements of fact that are both rational and true. We might call use of ad hominem argument in debates with pro-nuclear critics, the Helen Caldicott fallacy, because she uses arguments that her pro-pro-nuclear opponabents. In fact it is such a signature move, that your critic may have been HC.

  5. @ WilDavis:

    “I also despise anonymity. I’ve used my real name everywhere on the net since I got on it 15 years ago or so.”

    When responding to someone with a name like prisonersdilema like Rod was doing, I’d be just a tad worried about when the boy was released.

    I wonder what he was in for,……

  6. Keep in mind none of the people who took the time to post has ever heard anything good about the nuclear industry. Ever. The only reason I know what I know is because I was curious and find massive engineering projects interesting. Prior to educating myself I didn’t put much thought into the power of nuclear energy, other than the obvious pop culture examples of mushroom clouds.

    It doesn’t help when the media parades “scientists” who love to point out the 100W/sq meter of solar power hitting the Earth and if only those darn engineers would get busy building more efficient solar panels we’d have a free energy utopia. …Oh, and LED lights, too. Nevermind the million watt transmitter your local TV station is using, the megawatts of power being used to deliver that message over the Internet and cable TV infrastructure to your home. Nah, LED lightbulbs will fix everything.

  7. Anonymity on the web doesn’t bother me. When its necesssary, niether does using my actual name, as I exposed here when confronted about my moniker. Truth is, I’ve used this monicker since the towers fell, and I will continue to use it.

    It is your message thats important. When hosting web sites that advocate, such as this one, anonymity is self defeating. Rod needs to shed his anonymity.

    But myself? Others participating in the debate? As long as I present myself honestly, and don’t claim a profession or field of expertise I do not possess, who the hell cares what my name is?

    I really think its a mistake to make such a big deal out of a person’s choice to use an internet pseudonym. It takes away from the real issue being discussed, and can easily be percieved as an argumentative diversion. Stick with your argument, and leave the petty crap alone.

  8. I found your response to be polite and reasoned, although I am not sure it is worth the time. The comment threads remind me of the phrase “When wrestling with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig likes it.” Most of the anonymous posters are ‘internet sadists’ who get pleasure by their perceived ability to insult, hence the ad hominem attacks.

  9. Rod, that was a decent read. There were moments when you must have felt that you were banging your head against a wall. However, I can hardly believe that nobody was affected by your rhetoric. Time and again the antis threw something at you or EP only for the rebuttal to be immediate and to the point.

    I understand your point that you write for the lurkers and some of those who are undecided will go away and look at sources for themselves. Though some people are not capable of this, many many others are. Thus, there will come a day when those opposed to nuclear power will be a ridiculed minority.

    It’s impossible for me not to believe that the internet is a place where the truth will win out over time. Sure, there is a tendency for the loud and the obnoxious to stand out, but the sheer potential for knowledge dissemination represented by the internet is unprecedented in human history. Facts and reasoned argument can’t help but accumulate momentum. I myself would almost certainly have remained vaguely anti-nuclear if not for the resources available at the click of a mouse.

    So I completely understand efforts to engage directly with the antis with the goal of building momentum for nuclear power. Like other battles where science is pitted against unjustified belief, each exchange can only reveal reality a little more. In this regard I think youtube is a particularly important battleground and I have been impressed with Thunderfoot’s videos.

  10. Good and humble response. I’d be happy to have the patience to reply so politely and thoroughly. A leading example how to react on a nasty post.
    I’m still trying and learning how to convert or at least get sceptics thinking about the untapped potential of nuclear power.

  11. The antis get away with slinging mud and lies is because there’s seldom any challengers to sling it back. One great way to nip this in the bud is to publicly call out their heroes to an online or podcast debate for a little emperor sheep shearing. Publicly call out Harvey Wasserman or Micho Kaku or the “Nuclear News” editor to, say, a debate on the Atomic Show and make sure their replies — or lack of — is heard out the public and their followers to _wonder why_. Thoroughly debunk their heroes and their followers have no legs to stand on ( I also wish Hiroshima Syndrome had a podcast/comment forum as well). I’ve long invited many antinuke blog managers to come debate here but I guess my name and (lack of) credentials just doesn’t have the recognition factor to move them.

    James Greenidge
    Queens NY

    1. Since I’ve had some time and a bit of energy (must be the daylight banishing SAD, or maybe a rebound after sleeping off anaesthetics yesterday) I spent the day taking on the crowd at Truthdig.  It’s utterly amazing how easy it is to find references which conclusively debunk the anti-nuke claims, or how a trivial search digs up info that people seem unable to find themselves.

      1. “It’s utterly amazing how easy it is to find references which conclusively debunk the anti-nuke claims, or how a trivial search digs up info that people seem unable to find themselves.”

        I believe that’s because there are anti-nukes who deliberately spread misinformation which they know is false. In my own experience with online discussions, I’ve had discussions in which the particular anti-nuke was being so obtuse and evasive that I became convinced that he/she was in fact engaging in pure propaganda with no actual interest in the truth at all. At least once, and anti-nuke has actually told me that he believed deliberately spreading misinformation about nuclear power was a necessary and legitimate part of anti-nuke advocacy, because the ‘threat’ of nuclear power was so great that using misinformation was a important means to an end.

        1. I believe that’s because there are anti-nukes who deliberately spread misinformation which they know is false.

          So when someone shows up with a few links, it’s trivial to make them look like utter fools.  If that is the case, all it takes is a few people with free time to make their astroturf disinformation campaign completely counterproductive:  anyone reading will either be converted by the evidence, or keep their traps shut because they don’t want to look like idiots.  Works for me.

  12. That was a horrible “Article” by any standard. More wrong with it than right.

    I dont care for anonymous posting. I realize its a necessity for some of you but media is saturated with so much PR and social media the prospects for abuse are too high.

  13. US LNG exports to Europe and Asia will likely be no better than coal when it comes to GG emissions:

    Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas
    from the United States

    This analysis has determined that the use of U.S. LNG exports for power production in European and Asian markets will not increase GHG emissions, on a life cycle perspective, when compared to regional coal extraction and consumption for power production. Given the uncertainty in the underlying model data, it is not clear if there are any significant differences between the corresponding European and Asian cases other than the LNG transport distance from the U.S. and the pipeline distance from Russia. Differences between the U.S LNG, regional LNG, and Russian natural
    gas options are also indeterminate due to the underlying uncertainty in the modeling data, therefore no significant increase or decrease in net climate impact is anticipated from any of these scenarios. It is important to note that the European and Asian coal scenarios are identical because the same parameter ranges are used for both
    ( http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/05/f16/Life%20Cycle%20GHG%20Perspective%20Report.pdf )

  14. A book just out called “Radiance” looks to be an outstanding, readable education on radiation. The first chapter on how we use it everywhere already and why da bomb really should get a Nobel Peace Prize hooked me. (Mao and Stalin both were nuclear armed and didn’t use it.)
    “Hiroshima Syndrome” touches on it, but why are we to think, like it appears so popular to do, that if Fukushima went up (and I think that its explained that U does not explode) that it would take the whole world with it, when we know that the US and the USSR tested above ground some 500 weapons and essentially little happened? Hiroshima Syndrome explains that when a weapon goes off the fall out is more benign then what a reactor releases, but still I’d like to think Fukushima is sorta like one bomb test. Can I? AND is that why the US and USSR produced so darn many bombs (because one wouldn’t do it) for Mutually Assured Destruction?

  15. Difference is if you ignore all the FUD, you could’ve stayed and lived happy in Fukushima prefecture since last year and be way healthier than if you lived in cities like Beijing. Only politics and a rabidly anti-nuke media is keeping people from returning there while organizations like W.H.O. and the Red Cross and other biomed institutes have absolutely no problem with it. Who do we wish to trust — them, or splitting anti-nukers with vaporware “facts”?

  16. Would it be a good idea when debating anti-nukes to attempt to manoeuvre them (by bringing up Haber-Bosch, for example) into calling for depopulation, at which point the pro-nuke debater can then accuse them of advocating genocide?

  17. @JohnGalt,

    Leó Szilárd lost his security clearance, and was in no position to develop a cobolt bomb, in 1950n when he first talked about the Colbalt bomb on the radio. Szilárd was certainly not advocating colbalt bombs, and probably was concerned about the destructive potential of the H-bomb. Szilárd was involved in the development of first generation nuclear weapons. This was motivated in no small measure by the fear that Germany was about to develop its own nuclear weapons.

    1. @JohnGalt

      Humanity was blessed with discovery of fission, but the timing was poor. It happened just as one of the century’s worst madmen started invading his neighbors while also savagely waging an internal war against some of his country’s most productive citizens.

      It is not terribly surprising that some of his victims decided that they should work very hard to develop a weapon that was sure to defeat the madman.

    2. @JohnGalt

      Szilard, as you may or may not know, was one of the most reluctant of the bomb builders and his efforts to avoid using the creations, once he was certain that Hitler had been defeated, ended up causing him to be marginalized by Leslie Groves.

      http://www.atomicheritage.org/index.php/component/content/article/44-archives-/63-qthe-scientists-petitionq-a-forgotten-wartime-protest.html

      He eventually chose to leave the field of atomic energy altogether.

      1. @JohnGalt

        There is little doubt that my understanding of Szilard’s tale is probably tainted with my own agenda of making sure that atomic physics serve mankind and is not seen as a destructive force.

        If there had not been a war on, I am positive that commercial energy production applications would have been way ahead of explosive applications. Szilard would not have been thinking about bombs if he had not already been forced to flee Germany because of the incredibly scary rise of the national socialists.

  18. As an advocate, I take many of my cues from nuclear professionals such as yourself Rod and Engineer Poet, Jim Conca, Les Corrice, David Hess, Professor Terry and many/various others. I sponge up as much of the history, physics and analysis from all of you as I can. Your reply was a great example of why I’m happy to do so. But as a chemist, I entirely endorse your last sentence as fossil fuels are still a vast chemical feedstock reserve that could provide vast wealth for civilisation far into the future if we can stop burning them in the near future.

    I do not defend my anonymity, it is a precaution I would have done without if I were a childless bachelor, even if it meant risking the sort of character assassination levelled at my fellow South Australian advocates. I’m also aware it won’t last forever. I’ll maintain it while I judge that it serves to potentially protect the identities of my partner and kids (and to a much lesser extent my place of work) none of who have anything to do with my efforts apart from being my primary inspiration and motivation.

    Anyone who wants to know is free to ask, of course!

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